Turning over more control of class conversations to students can be scary, but I’ve found that as long as I’m doing my part, students don’t disappoint me.
Teachers can improve student to student conversation nonverbally by paying attention to their position in the classroom…Thoughtful classroom movement also helps the teacher manage the classroom by discretely redirecting students.
…the way teachers respond to their students greatly impacts the authenticity of the discussion. It’s not surprising that teachers who interject their own ideas and/or reject or rephrase students’ ideas, kill the conversation off quickly.
Teachers ask a lot of questions, but many of those questions target basic knowledge or recall. We can make our discussions more effective by beginning them with “What”, “How”, “Why”, “If…then”–open-ended questions that require more thought.