Stimulating and Guiding Student Discussions

A search for materials on classroom discussions calls up over one hundred books, articles, or videotapes! To help narrow it down, we've concentrated our list on resources which address such basic concerns as getting the discussion started; keeping it moving along and on track; and ensuring that the discussion helps students learn.


Bruffee, Kenneth A. "Consensus Groups:  A Basic Model of Classroom Collaboration." Collaborative Learning: Higher Education, Interdependence, and the Authority of Knowledge. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993. 28-51.

Christensen, C. Roland. "Every Student Teaches and Every Teacher Learns: The Reciprocal Gift of Discussion Teaching." Education for Judgment:  The Artistry of Discussion Leadership.  Christensen, C. Roland  David A., Garvin, and Ann Sweet eds. Boston: Harvard Business School, 1991. 99-119.
-----. "The Discussion Teacher in Action: Questioning, Listening and Response." Education for Judgment: The Artistry of Discussion Leadership. Christensen, C. Roland, David A.Garvin, and Ann Sweet, eds. Boston: Harvard Business School Press,1991.  153-172.

Christensen, Terry. "Calling on Students Without Fear and Loathing." College Teaching 37 (1989):33-35.

Clarke, John H. "Designing Discussions as Group Inquiry." College Teaching 36 (1988): 140-143.

Ewens, William. "Teaching Using Discussion." Organizational Behavior Teaching Review 10 (1986): 77-81.

Frederick, Peter. "The Dreaded Discussion: Ten Ways to Start." Improving College and University Teaching 29 (1980): 109-114.

Glidden, Jock and Joanne G. Kurfiss. "Small-Group Discussion in Philosophy." College Teaching38 (1990): 3-8.

Gravette, Darlene J. "Asking the Right Questions, A Key to Good Class Discussions."  Teaching English in the Two-Year College 12 (1985): 300-302.

Jacobson, Robert L. "Asking Questions is the Key Skill Needed for 'Discussion Teaching'." Chronicle of Higher Education 1984, 20.

Kraft, Robert G. "Group Inquiry Turns Passive Students Active."College Teaching 33 (1985): 149-154.

Long, Dale D. and Jo C. Bedard. "Evaluation of a Discussion Technique Used for Both Classroom Instruction and Grade Assignment."  American Journal of Physics 53 (1985): 401-405.

Lowman, Joseph. "Enhancing Learning Through Classroom Discussion." Mastering the Techniques of Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. 1984.  119-144.

Forging an Intellectual Community in Small Classes.   McEvoy, Arthur F.  1993. Video. Evanston. Northwestern University.

McKeachie, Wilbert J. Teaching Tips:A Guidebook for the Beginning College Teacher. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath, 1986.

Rosmarin, Adena. "The Art of Leading a Discussion." On Teaching and Learning 1 (1985): 34-39.

Scott, Anne Firor. "Why I Teach by Discussion." The Academic's Handbook.  Deneef, Leigh A. ed. Durham: Duke University Press, 1988. 141-145.

Smith, Barbara Leigh. "Creating Learning Communities." Liberal Education 79 (1993): 32-39.

Teaching with Discussion. Tlumack, Jeffrey S. 1992. Video. Vanderbilt University Teaching Center.

Tyler, I. Keith. "Learning Through Discussion." The Two Ends of the Log. Cooper, Russell M. ed. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1958. 254-261.

Welty, William M. "Discussion Method Teaching: How to Make It Work." Change 21 (1989) : 41-49.

Worsley, Alice F."Improving Classroom Discussions: Ten Principles." Improving College and University Teaching 23 (1975): 27-28.

Yelon, Stephen L. and Colleen R. Cooper. "Discussion: A Naturalistic Study of a Teaching Method." Instructional Science 13 (1984): 213-224.

Developed by Ken Bain and Jim Lang

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