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Learning to Discuss: Strategies for Improving the Quality of Class Discussion
Jocelyn A. Hollander
Vol. 30, No. 3 (Jul., 2002), pp. 317-327
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3211480
Page Count: 11
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This paper describes a strategy for improving the quality of class discussions. I argue that discussions are often unsatisfying for two reasons. First, students and teachers tend to emphasize individual contributions rather than the collective process of discussing. Second, teachers tend to emphasize discussion performance rather than the development of discussion skills. I describe a multi-part exercise that addresses both of these issues and illustrates its effectiveness with excerpts from student self evaluations. Students often write that this exercise helps them develop their speaking and listening skills and improves the overall quality of class discussion.
Teaching Sociology © 2002 American Sociological Association