sometimes you can't make it on some scones

I'm finding it much more difficult to lead discussions right now. Perhaps it's the subject matter (US History from 1877 to the present). Perhaps it's the classroom size or format (18-20 students per class, cramped conditions, 30 mins. for discussion). Or perhaps it's because I didn't read these tips on how to lead a discussion. Or maybe it's just me. I'm not sure. Anyone have any suggestions?


Blogger zena said...

have you commented on the fact that your discussions are slow to nonexistent to the class directly? sometimes the head on approach breaks the ice...

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2/10/2006 3:49 PM  
Blogger brian carlson said...

my experience is that poor classroom discussions tend to be a result of two possible things. Either the students didn't do the reading and don't know the topic, OR, they just don't care about the topic at all. If its the first one start giving grades for classroom participation, or pop quizzes on content. If its the latter try to frame the subjects as something they can get excited or upset about i.e. sexism, women's rights, exploitation (time to dig out some Howard Zinn). Say something outrageous or somewhat inflammatory(be careful with this you don't want to be too offensive), somthing to get the students blood going.

2/13/2006 8:59 AM  
Blogger e said...

z--can't wait to see you guys. and that's a good suggestion.
bc--i already give quizzes, but you're right--that type of political history is really boring to people sometimes, i think. i'll try the hornets' nest approach on friday. thanks.

2/13/2006 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that a teacher with a firearm is very convincing. Have you considered showing up with a gun and cleaning in front of everyone?

Nate Davis

2/22/2006 8:50 PM  

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