, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 83-115

Students’ knowledge about the value of discussions for teaching and learning

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Abstract

We are particularly interested in looking at teaching and learning from students’ perspectives. Focussed interviews and written responses from a number of linked investigations with middle-school and tertiary students highlighted that students perceive discussion to be a valuable teaching -- learning technique. This paper provides text extracts, organised into six key themes, to illustrate students’ understandings about how discussion helps them to learn. We conclude that, across the whole participant group, knowledge about the various potentials of discussion for learning is wide ranging. However, at the individual level, some students’ perspectives appear limited. We propose that specific attention to enhancing students’ pedagogical knowledge about techniques such as discussion should accompany subject matter instruction.