A group discussion

Dear Friends
We have talked and argued about whether it is advisable to have a bit sense of humour or not. Now, Do you think it is preferable to have group discussions inside the class or not? I mean, which is the right way of teaching, to have an individual discussions (either the teacher discusses the subject and the students listen or the students one by one discuss the subject and the teacher listen), or to have a group sharing discussions inside the class? Which one of the two is the best for the better learning?
With respect and honour
Hadeer

Hi Hadeer ,
How are you ?

You know that the philosophy of education is the study of purpose ,process,nature,and ideals of education and there are multiple types of methods and theories which are required for teaching. Learning is a search for meaning. Therefore, it must start with the issues around which students are actively trying to construct meaning. One important theory is constructivism. It is a philosophy of learning founded by reflecting on experiences, on which understanding of the world is constructed. Generally, every individual generates his own rules and mental models, which are used to make sense of experiences. Learning, therefore, is simply the process of adjusting mental models to accommodate new experiences.

Understanding the meaning of the whole concept is very important. The learning process focuses on primary concepts rather than isolated facts. It is better to understand the mental models that students use to perceive the world and the assumptions they make to support those models.

The classroom method of teaching is more useful for the very young children. It is based on the old methods of imparting knowledge. The teacher and student relationship play a great role in flow of information. Usually books are common medium to impart the knowledge. For adults, the method of teaching may be some different. Computer or media can play an effective role in the flow of knowledge to a person. The more emphasis is on the higher level of studies. Giving lectures is the most common method of teaching. It helps audience to participate in the discussion. They can inquire, answer or challenge the views. Small group discussion is another method by which you can involve more than two persons in an open debate on some specific issue. This gives an opportunity to hear the views of others and your own thinking can be influenced in a positive manner.

Good luck.

Salam


People don’t lack strength ,they lack WILL.

Dear Hello,
thanks for the useful information.
God bless you
Hadeer

Hadeer, a lot depends on the personality of the teacher and the type of educational system the students have been raised in.

A teacher with a more forceful personality can allow a lot of freedom in his class, because he knows that if things get out of control, he can always restore order. A teacher with a more timid personality may have to keep everything rigid in the class all the time, because he would never be able to restore order if the students got out of control.

I’ve found that many students from countries where teachers tend to be more dictatorial have trouble learning in classes where there is a lot of open discussion. For example, in my classes there is a lot of back-and-forth between me and the students – even a lot of wild jokes – and most of the students learn the required material (if they study). However, often when I get older students from Iraq – especially people like lawyers or science professors – they have a lot of trouble learning in that kind of atmosphere. Some of them even complain and want me to start teaching Iraqi style, by writing everything on the board and lecturing without much student participation. Since I’m not Iraqi, and we are not in Iraq, I don’t follow their suggestion, but it just shows that people can be very successful at learning with one style of teaching but not with another. On the other hand, American students don’t learn as well if there is just lecture and no participation.

Open discussion and participation are useful pedagogical tools, but only if they are productive. They are only useful if the students actually know something about the subject being discussed, or if there is a strong possibility that they will learn pertinent information from the discussion. Some Western countries go too far, in the sense that they have students discuss and express their opinions on subjects they are quite ignorant about, and nothing worthwhile comes out of that type of discussion. In those situations a lecture by a good instructor is much more beneficial.

In the United States, we have had quite a few years of teachers attempting to put into practice the “constructivist” theory of education (with its name odiously stolen from a Russian art movement), but the results are seldom good. The problem it poses is that it largely ignores the fact that for millennia our ancestors have engaged in scientific research and philosophical inquiry in order to discover truths about the world and universe that will benefit future generations. The idea was that we could stand on their shoulders and humanity could progress further. However, most of the time when “constructivism” is practiced, it strips away the knowledge our forebears passed on to us and has kids try to discover things from their own minds and limited experience. They can’t possibly learn enough from that. And it’s disrespectful to the ancestors who have passed on their knowledge for our benefit.

Hi Hadeer

I think the best one is have a group sharing discussion inside the class, as a personal experience I have faced many problems when I learning English as a basic language, so I learned English in way that the teacher discusses the subject and the students listen, just listen without given us the opportunity to discuss any subject, thus, I decided to change this method to another one very efficient, than I released that an open discussion subjects and listen to the others giving you more open mind to many things and leading to your chance to speak without any fear.