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Discussion Tools for Teaching and Learning

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Concept by: José Angel Santana

Description

Discussion is one of the most effective and frequently used teaching methodologies in classrooms today. This course provides specific tools for teachers to activate, facilitate, and dig deeper into more meaningful discussions that lead to learning. The course is based on Stephen Brookfield and Stephen Preskill’s landmark book Discussion as a Way of Teaching: Tools and Techniques for Democratic Classrooms, Carl Rogers’ pioneering work in the field of Active Listening, and Marshal Rosenberg’s renowned methods for Non-Violent Communication.

The instructors will bring their extensive experience in the fields of interpersonal communication skills training; conversation for language learners; and dialoguing techniques; in a way that encourages participants to investigate and practice discussion activities that are in accord with their own specific teaching contexts.

The instructors will provide discussion tools and model exercises to enliven classrooms and ensure that all voices are heard, by demonstrating ways for listening and responding to one another with empathy so that all students’ values and needs are respected. Participants in the course will learn to energize discussions that will improve student engagement, develop critical thinking skills, and deepen understanding and appreciation for diverse views.

Learning Outcomes

Participants to the course will learn to:

  • Stimulate meaningful and engaging discussions in the classroom while ensuring that all students are heard;
  • Develop their students’ critical thinking skills and ability to articulate an informed understanding of different topics;
  • Cultivate empathy amongst their students while fostering an appreciation for different perspectives;
  • Model and facilitate deeper listening skills resulting in improved collaboration, group dynamics, and collective learning. 

Tentative Schedule

The schedule describes likely activities but may differ significantly based on the requests of the participants, and the trainer delivering the specific session. Course modifications are subject to the trainer’s discretion. If you would like to discuss a specific topic, please indicate it at least 4 weeks in advance.

Day 1 – Course introduction & Discussion as a Way of Learning

Course introduction

  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities.
  • Icebreaker activities.
  • Presentations of the participants’ schools.
  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities.
  • Icebreaker activities.

Discussion as a Way of Learning

  • Creating a climate conducive to discussion as a way of learning: Encouraging others to express, getting to know you through discussion

Day 2 – Active listening

  • The role of active listening in discussion.
  • Introduction to the democratice classroom, the “check-in”, carl rogers, and how to “encourage” speaking while listening.
  • Circle of voices and circular response discussion techniques.

Day 3 – Reflective listening

  • Reflective listening within discussions.
  • “Gibberish” and “Snowballing” techniques for discussions.
  • Critical incident questionnaire.

Day 4 – Techniques for effective dialogue

  • Using validation in discussions, effective discussions within collaborative group work.
  • Introduction to Newsprint dialogue technique, review responses to yesterday’s critical incident questionnaire, followed by open discussion with validation to apply the lessons learned for our ongoing workshop.
  • Chalk-talk with critical debate techniques.
  • Active listening: validation.

Day 5 – Newsprint dialogue

  • Newsprint dialogue: Group brainstorming to create a discussion for learning lesson plans.
  • Develop, rehearse and present discussion for learning lesson plans.
  • Lesson plan feedback discussion using post-it questions.

Day 6 – Excursion & Course closure

  • Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
  • Excursion and other external cultural activities.

Audience

  • Teachers: primary, secondary, vocational, adult, special needs;
  • Teacher trainers;
  • Careers officers, educational guides and counselors;
  • Headteachers;
  • Principals;
  • Managers of schools.

Specifics

  • Activities: All courses include at least one guided city tour and one full-day excursion (usually on Saturday).
  • Certificate: Certificate of Attendance guaranteed for participants who attend at least 80% of the course.
  • Lessons: Classes take place in the Morning (9:00 – 13:45) or in the Afternoon (14:00 – 18:45).
  • Price: 480 €

Before the course, test your English level.
Discover our Online English Courses for Teachers.

Need assistance with your Erasmus project?
Check out our Guide to Erasmus.

Next courses in Nice

  • 4-9 Jan 2021
  • 1-6 Feb 2021
  • 1-6 Mar 2021
  • 5-10 Apr 2021
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  • 8-13 Nov 2021
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Next courses in Verona

  • 18-23 Jan 2021
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Next courses in Amsterdam

  • 25-30 Jan 2021
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Next courses in Novi Sad

  • 11-16 Jan 2021
  • 8-13 Feb 2021
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  • 29 Mar - 3 Apr 2021
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  • 31 May - 5 Jun 2021
  • 14-19 Jun 2021
  • 12-17 Jul 2021
  • 9-14 Aug 2021
  • 30 Aug - 4 Sep 2021
  • 13-18 Sep 2021

Reviews about this course

The course in Florence was a wonderful experience! The two instructors, Marisol and José are passionate and inspirational professionals. Not only did I learn how to make students more willing to talk and how to make them good and attentive listeners, but also how to become a good and attentive listener myself. Very friendly and active atmosphere during the workshop, lovely group and … Florence. I came back home with a head full of new ideas for the classroom and memories of all the wonderful people I met.

Thank you, Marisol and José, and thank you, my group.

Kinga Kasperczyk-Pliszka

We have started our new school term and there is no day I don’t use the ideas or activities from the course with you. Some of them have great success, and I find them very useful…

Once again THANK YOU Marisol and José for such a great experience. You have created very inspirational atmosphere and I am full of unforgettable memories.

I hope and I wish we all will keep in touch.

Jana Jenny Beníková

I would like to thank Marisol and José for an amazing time we had in the classroom in Florence. I am grateful for your enthusiasm, passion and patience. I learnt so much about communication not only as a teacher but also as a person.

Now, I am really happy to use new communicative techniques both with my students and…with my family (sensitive listening – quite hard!).

For me, the course in Florence was a valuable experience full of openness, sincerity, and friendship which I will never forget

Anna Orzyłowska

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