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ERIC Number: EJ1152729
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May-16
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1938-5978
Academically Productive Talk in a College Classroom
Rybakova, Katie; Whitt, Kate Cook
New England Journal of Higher Education, May 2017
The classic image of a college classroom often includes a professor standing at the front of a room or hall, often standing near a chalkboard or projector screen, lecturing to a room full of 30 to 100 students diligently taking notes. This model of instruction, often referred to as direct instruction, however, is grounded in somewhat-outdated theories of learning behaviorism and cognitivism. Although higher education has lagged behind in shifting pedagogical approaches, professors and departments are beginning to make shifts to teaching and learning in higher education to reflect the research in constructivism and social constructivism. Essentially, this means that teaching and learning is most effective when students are actively involved in the learning process and are exposed to learning experiences in which they construct their own understanding of core disciplinary ideas. Furthermore, the ideas of social constructivism rest on the concept that learning is inherently social and requires constant communication among and between peers, not only instructors. In this article, the authors share their approaches to academic discourse within an environment that caters to a population including first-generation college students at Thomas College, with the caveat that these forms of academic discourse add an unconventional twist. Academic discourse is one of the ways in which to attend to the needs of a constructivist classroom and allows for students to engage in rigorous, active learning.
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maine
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A