I read an article recently, entitled “8 ways teachers can talk less and get kids talking more,” about the importance of students talking more than the teacher. Student collaboration and discussions are more beneficial than them being lectured at. I pulled two of the eight ways that stuck out as ones I hadn’t heard before. They are both about altering what the teacher says. One was about turning statements into prompts or questions (i.e. instead of “take a look at #3, it’s wrong,” you would say “how did you get your answer to #3”). This was interesting to me because so many teachers just let the child know they got something wrong, but don’t follow-up for explanation from the student. Having them go through the steps of their thinking process can really help you understand the student better as well as notice the error easier. The second one involved changing the statement, “does that make sense,“ to “can you put that in your own words” – it helps everyone remember content if they hear it again and their peers can summarize it in a simpler way.
My graduate program is very student-centered, so allowing for more discussion than lecturing is a large part of that. There are some things that seem like you need they need to be lectured about, but you can always have the students discuss what they think of the topic and tell you their ideas instead. Discovering the information in a collaborative space is a great way to learn! It doesn’t always need to just be discussions either. They can figure out the process through research, stations, games, etc. Education has a such a strain on testing, but the student can find out information through more exploratory ways.