Is your classroom discussion a Tennis Match or a Tour Bus?

People carrying jigsaw pieces of a speech bubble

If you’re wondering what a Tour Bus discussion is then you’re not alone. Before reading an article found on Faculty Focus, I had no idea there were multiple forms of classroom discussion. Especially if you want students to be actively engaged in the discussion or even to lead the discussion. According to the article, there are 8 different forms of discussion (and probably more). These include:

  • The Tennis Match
  • The Whirlpool
  • The Eclectic Beaded Necklace 
  • The Tour Bus
  • Urban Sprawl
  • The Life Raft
  • Wild West Train
  • Spoked Wheel

More importantly, this article discussed what it looked like when an instructor stayed silent during a student lead discussion, no matter how much they might have wanted to intervene. This instructor, who originally planned on interjecting after 10 minutes of student discussion, decided to remain silent the entire time. He found his students worked extremely well on their own and did not need him to save the discussion when, normally, his classroom discussions were a Spoked Wheel – each student being a spoke, never touching the other spokes, and the instructor needing to hold the wheel together. There are still many questions unanswered as to why his class was able to discuss so well. The article left us with one major question, “What does this mean for teaching in the future?”.

To read the full article, follow this link: 

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