One of my favorite activities to facilitate with students is a class discussion. As a former literacy coach, I am well aware that too many teachers are still operating as the sage on the stage. They are spending too much time providing knowledge to students and not enough time allowing students to analyze and discuss knowledge. Yes, teachers have knowledge they must teach students, but they also need to teach students how to process knowledge, discuss difficult topics, and come to their own conclusions.
Here are three reasons why I believe classrooms need more opportunity for discussion.
1. Children need to learn how to express themselves.
If you read the comment section for about any article, even the ones that seem noncontroversial, you will discover that people have difficulty articulating an opinion. Students need to learn how to process information and share their ideas in a clear manner so they can converse with others.
2. Children need to learn how to learn how to respond to ideas they don’t like.
There is so much hate in the world and much of this hate gets incited because people don’t know how to listen and disagree with differing views. I tell students that my number one rule is to address the other side, not attack the person.
3. Children are the future.
As a teacher, I help facilitate discussions and many times my students are discussing difficult or even controversial topics. I see it as my job to help them learn how to express themselves appropriately. They will be the ones leading this country when I am old. I want to help be part of making the world better in the future.
If you are an educator, find ways to get your students to discuss various topics. Our future depends on it.