As the story-telling method is specifically suitable for junior stage pupils, the Narration and Discussion Method is particularly appropriate for the higher class students. It is regarded as one of the useful and effective methods of teaching history. Teaching should be a two-way process in order to be successful. Students should actively participate in the teaching learning process.
The Discussion-cum-Narration Method provides adequate scope for student’s participation in the problem or topic, ideas are presented analyzed, exchanged and accompanied with suitable support materials. Discussion is almost equally shared by pupils and teacher; all aspects are properly weighed and conflicting interests as well as values are put forth by both the sides. It provides opportunity for exchange of ideas through questions and answers, arguments and counter arguments.
On the whole, truth is searched and conclusions are drawn through free exchange of opinions. Discussion-cum-Narration is a group activity and a process of collective decision-making.
Steps and Procedures
Teaching of History through this method calls for systematic planning. The entire teaching-learning process is carried on mainly through three steps: (i) Preparation, (ii) Conduct of Discussion and (iii) Evaluation.
It is an important step in planning. The topic must be carefully selected and the teacher must be confident of the details of the theme. Points to be discussed should be informed to students earlier. The topic and questions may be written on the black board for this purpose. Both the teacher and students should be prepared for taking active part in the discussion.
II. Conduct of Discussion
This step is the most significant part of teaching; it includes arrangement of seats, maintenance of discipline, initiation and presentation of the topic, student’s participation in a released, free and informal atmosphere. All students should be encouraged to participate in the discussion and express their own points of view without any hesitation and reservation. Such discussion will be a process of loud, as well as silent thinking; it is an experience in cooperation, not in competition.
This step on discussion and narration aims at providing information, facts, figures, removing doubts and difficulties, changing attitudes, developing interests and good qualities that are necessary for effective citizenship. All these objectives are evaluated at this stage and measures are taken for making up the deficiencies, if any.
The teacher has to play an important role in this teaching- learning process. He has to take initiative and all the steps that are found necessary for encouraging students’ participation. Success of this method largely depends on the better qualification, wide knowledge, varied skills, ample resource fullness and favorable attitude of the teacher. The teacher has to direct all the activities of the class and co-ordinate their opinions and views expressed there on the topic. He has to bring about solution of the problems faced and truths out of all controversial arguments and counter arguments. He is required to play the role of a director or manager of the whole show and take all the steps for ensuring realization of learning objectives.
(1) This method of teaching is very suitable for higher classes.
(2) It discourages role-learning and encourages understanding ‘and critical thinking.
(3) It enables students to discover facts, collect relevant information and clarify doubts.
(4) It promotes academic work through joint and cooperative efforts.
(5) It facilitates pupils’ participation and individual initiative.
(6) It enables the teacher to identify potentiality of the students and provide favorable scope for its development.
(7) It enhances attentiveness, interest, speaking capacity and self-evaluation.
(1) This method is not effective for junior class students.
(2) It calls for immense earlier planning and preparation, which most of the teachers do not afford.
(3) Without proper control & co-ordination over the discussion, it will be difficult to arrive at conclusion and may lead to wastage of time and energy.