Evaluating school classroom discussion
Evaluating school classroom discussion

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2.2 Evaluating discussion (continued)

Activity 4: Evaluating discussions (2)

Timing: 5 hours 0 minutes

The quality of discussion amongst students can be evaluated by carrying out the following activity.

  1. Tape record two short (5 minute) group discussion activities, involving two or three students and based on a particular topic, in your own classroom or that of a teacher you know.

  2. Transcribe one or two short sections so that you can examine the talk more carefully, using the transcription key provided below.

  3. Drawing on your reading in the module so far, make your own evaluation of the discussions in terms of:

    • (a) what they tell you about the students’ capabilities for using language for sharing and constructing knowledge together;

    • (b) the apparent value of the discussion for advancing the students’ understanding of the relevant topic.

Note: There are many ways of transcribing spoken language. For this activity we suggest you use the transcription key provided below.

Transcription key

T = Teacher

S1 = Student 1

S2 = Student 2

(S3 = Student 3)

(.) = Brief pause

(…) = Long pause

word stressed = in bold

?,.! = use conventions of punctuation to indicate sense of the spoken words (i.e. use ? to indicate question)

[ = overlapping speech or interruptions.

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