In this method the effective participation of students, is made possible, in the teaching-learning situation. In this method both the teacher and the students discuss the pros and cons of the problem and then arrive at some tangible conclusion. Thus “Discussion is a thoughtful consideration of relationships involved in the topic or the problem under study. These relations are to be analysed, compared, evaluated and conclusions are drawn. The discussion requires a statement or enumeration of the facts to be analysed. In discussion mere allegations un-supported by evidence are of little value.”
Types of Discussion
Mainly there are two types of discussion:
(i) Spontaneous discussion, and (ii) Planned discussion
(i) Sportaneous Discussion
It generally starts from students question about some current event that may be related to the topic under study. Such a discussion is quite helpful to students as it helps them to understand current events to analyse and relate facts to real life situations In such a discussion the knowledge of facts is reviewed and an understanding is developed.
(ii) Planned Discussion
Such discussion may be initiated by the teacher by asking one student to present reports and others to discuss them in detail. This technique needs a careful planning by the teacher by including pertinent facts to the class and unitying them in the form of conclusions. An extensive list of questions is made by the teacher and these should be injected into the discussion at appropriate time. The teacher should at times emphasise a point and should see that all relevant points are covered during discussion.
Advantages of Discussion Method
It follows a spiral of learning principles.
It is found to work well to the related content courses.
It helps in motivating the students through their participation in discussion.
It helps in developing students ability to express himself orally.
It helps to develop the powers of thinking and reasoning in the students.
It helps the students in analysing critically and drawing conclusion judiciouly.
It helps in creating a healthy rapport between the teacher and the taught.
Disadvantages of Discussion Method
(i) In this method there is a chance that only a few students may dominate the whole discussion.
(ii) It is possible that discussion is initiated on those aspects of the problem with which few prominent students of the class are concerned.
(iii) In this method there are chances that the students may be
(iv) This method is time consuming.
(v) This method is not adaptable to all teaching-learning situations.
(vi) In this method it is very difficult to assess all the students in terms of learning outcomes.
Organisation and Control
Following procedure may be adopted for organisation and control of discussion:
(i) The discussion may be started by the students by giving facts, describing a situation etc.
(ii) The teacher may introduce the topic by providing data. Discussion should be stimulated by way of questioning by the teacher.
(iii) The teacher in cooperation with the students should finalise important points and relevant facts.
(iv) For making the discussion interesting and lively it is desirable to cite the personal experiences of the students relating to the topic.
(v) Illustrative material te collected from various sources (e.g. museum other community resources etc.) and presented in the class.
(vi) Various proposed solution given by students be presented to the class.
(vii) The summary of the work done and problems discussed be prepared by student leaders.
(viii) Debate-discussion should be initiated by pairs of students on significant and controversial topics.
(ix) Panel discussions, round table discussions, open forums and symposia should be arranged as per nature of the study. Such type of discussions may have far reaching values for socialisation of class-room discussion
The extent of success of the discussion depends primarily on the ability of the teacher in securing the whole hearted cooperation of the students and selecting, organising and conducting group discussions. In case teacher finds that student volunteers are not forthcoming, then he should ask students to relate their experiences in such a way the whole of the class is represented.