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ERIC Number: EJ1045443
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1784
Spinning the Web
Wiggins, Alexis
Educational Leadership, v72 n3 p78-81 Nov 2014
Skills in communication and collaboration can be just as important as content knowledge and technical skills in the workplace. So what are schools doing to foster these skills? English language arts teacher Alexis Wiggins adapted the Socratic seminar model to make it student-led and collaborative. Under her new approach, the Spider Web Discussions, students receive a group grade that is based on how well the whole class demonstrates important speaking and listening skills during the class discussion. This approach encourages students to help one another become better participants in class. Wiggins keeps track of all student comments made during the discussion and uses the information to guide students who need to improve. The discussions are entirely student-led, with Wiggins sitting outside the circle, avoiding eye contact, and taking notes on what she observes. After the discussion, students debrief, using a rubric, to determine how well their discussion went. Wiggins shares her own observations at this time. With practice, students become better at conducting discussion without a teacher's help, and students have told Wiggins that the Spider Web Discussions were the most valuable aspect of her class.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A