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Giving Students More Authority – Facilitating Meaningful Classroom Discussions in the K-12 Classroom


PDLI 9130 


Instructor: Gayle Meinkes-Lumia – gaylelumia@yahoo.com

Course Description:

Providing students with high quality discussions that promote learning and engagement is tantamount to teaching. High quality discussions include content-specific ideas that spark students to express different points of view, reflect on their own opinionsvarying perspectives, and engage in democratic dialogues. Education that develops deep reasoning, critical thinking, and conceptual and practical tools for inculcating knowledge is tantamount for students today. Teaching in this modality empowers our learners and enables them to recognize that proactive engagement is the key to their success. 

In this course, participants will be instructed on the pedagogical principles that promote student learning and democratic engagement. They will learn the ways in which students themselves facilitate learning and streamline their own thinking. Teachers will be instructed on ways in which to act as mediators and not sages, including the ins and outs of effective questioning. Rich discussion tactics will be integrated as fishbowl techniques, Socratic Seminars, Jigsaws, formative assessments, graphic organizers, gallery walks – all of which engage the learner and provide for optimum efficacy.

Goals and Objectives: Upon completion of the course, participants will be better prepared to:

• Understand the impact of effective classroom discussions
• Comprehend the respective ways in which teachers can transform their classrooms via classroom dialogues
• Generate meaningful strategies that challenge students 
• Develop deep learning outcomes for their classrooms
• Integrate a myriad of learning activities that challenge their learners
• Engage their learners with 21st century tools of instruction 

(3 credits/45 hours) Graduate credits only


Gayle Meinkes-Lumia