10 Dilemmas in Teaching with Discussion
Call Number: LB1027.23 .P52 2016
Using discussion pedagogy promotes perturbation, disturbance, and disequilibrium as natural and anticipated outcomes of instruction. Instructors using discussion often feel pulled between desirable, but seemingly contradictory, outcomes for their students: for example, wanting students to participate but also wanting them to learn to listen to others' viewpoints; hoping that they will dialogue but also wanting them to pose questions with each other; expecting they will use the text to ground their opinions and also valuing students' personal experiences as they relate to the topic under discussion. Similarly, instructors using discussion must manage instructional paradoxes: focusing on the process of discussion but also having an eye on the possible products of the discussion, such as outside actions or a culminating project; wanting to provide structure to help students understand expectations and increase student engagement and also valuing organic, less structured dialogues that highlight student interest in the topic. These contradictions may be met with a problem solving stance leading to an either/or consequence, choosing one viewpoint over another. Yet, the paradoxical outcomes and instructional choices in discussion, though opposing, are mutually desirable. In fact, each side of the dilemma relies on the other. These types of problems for discussion outcomes and instruction are not really problems. They are dilemmas that simply need management."