Thoughtful Dialogue in Relation to Other Instructional Methods

Paper presented at the 15th International Conference on Thinking, ICOT 2011, Belfast, Ireland.


Thoughtful discussion in school is encouraged by methods like the Socratic seminar, philosophy for/with children, and deliberative dialogues. The paper explores how didactics (as the art and science of teaching) can be analyzed from considering how the teacher plans the product and/or process of teaching. The switching between the different didactic positions will teach students habits of mind to promote a lifelong learning process. To motivate the students to learn, the sequence in which the different didactic positions are addressed is important. The paper endeavors to explain what function the methods for thoughtful discussion have in the school curricula when integrated with other instructional methods. Thoughtful discussion might serve as a start of the learning process but might also help to challenge and integrate along the way. However, whether or not thoughtful discussion is seen as a meaningful way of teaching is dependent on the inner pedagogical theory of the teacher.

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