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Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Classroom Discussion Model of Teaching: A Student-Engaged Model of Teaching

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices. Accordingly our mentees should know about the Classroom Discussion Model of Teaching.

The Classroom Discussion Model of Teaching
(*Arends, 2001)

The classroom discussion model of teaching involves giving students the opportunity to participate in structured small and large group conversations. The teacher, however, must specify the purpose for the discussion, establish the rules for conversational engagement, facilitate, and monitor the progress of the conversation. The five steps of the Classroom Discussion Model of Teaching appear in the chart below.

The Five Steps of the Classroom Discussion Model of Teaching



Teacher and/or Student Behavior


Get students ready to learn, and clarify the objective/s for the discussion

· Teacher gets students ready to learn.

· Teacher identifies the objective/s for the discussion.


Focus the discussion

· Teacher explains the ground rules for the discussion.


Facilitate the discussion

· Teacher facilitates one of the whole class or small group discussion procedures described below.


Terminate the discussion

· Teacher brings closure to the discussion.


Reflect on the discussion

· Teacher invites students to share their thoughts, and conclusions about the discussion content and discussion procedure.

*Arends, R. (2001). Learning to Teach. (Fifth Edition). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

On the next post we will insert a sample lesson into the five-step Classroom Discussion Model of Teaching template.

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