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Making Classroom Discussions Work

Methods for Quality Dialogue in the Social Studies

Jane C. Lo Wayne Journell Diana E. Hess

256 pages
Teachers College Press

For the past 2 decades, the field of social studies education has seen an increase in research on the use of discussions as an essential instructional technique. This book examines the importance of using quality dialogue as a tool to help students understand complex issues in social studies. This edited volume provides a collection of well-known, evidence-based discussion techniques, as well as classroom examples showing the methods in use. While using discussion as an instructional method is widely considered a best practice of civic learning, actual high-quality discussions are rare and notoriously difficult to facilitate. Making Classroom Discussions Work is designed to guide teacher educators and classroom teachers in facilitating equitable and productive discussions that will boost learning and democratic engagement.

Book Features:

  • Emphasizes the rationale for using discussion in social studies teaching.
  • Collects strategies that have been proposed in disparate journal articles and books in one convenient volume.
  • Presents research-based challenges and supports for conducting and assessing discussions in the social studies.
  • Includes methods and tips to help teachers make discussions more equitable in their classrooms.
Author Bio

Jane C. Lo is an assistant professor of teacher education at Michigan State University.