What you'll learn

  • Understand the research about classroom discussion and debate
  • Understand the role of classroom discussion in building robust understanding, while learning why it can be so challenging
  • The role of classroom discussion in building robust understanding, while learning why it can be so challenging
  • How to apply new strategies to improve and enhance classroom discussion and debate

Course description

Most teachers know that discussions can catalyze student understanding but discussions don’t always happen the way we hope they would. Why are classroom discussions often so challenging? What can teachers do to improve them? What do we know about why they matter?

Based upon the research of HGSE Professor Catherine Snow, one of the world’s leading experts on language and literacy, Learning Through Discussion and Disagreement begins by revealing what classroom discussion is and isn’t and defining what makes a classroom discussion successful. Professor Snow then provides research evidence for the value of classroom discussion and explains why it can be so effective—and why there is too little of it in most classrooms. Finally, participants will explore strategies for getting started and make plans to engage their students in the classroom.

This online workshop is an asynchronous learning experience with no live components and is designed to be self-paced. All materials are provided at the start of the program and can be completed at times that best fit a participant’s schedule within the two-week program period. Participants should plan to devote a total of 5-7 hours of work. Participants who complete all individual assessments and contribute to group discussions prior to the end of the course period will receive a certificate indicating completion of five clock hours of instruction.

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