An engaging classroom discussion can be a beautiful thing—both a vital part of the learning process and a microcosm of the way we hope democracy functions. Yet a high-quality discussion doesn’t just happen, says UW–Madison educational researcher Paula McAvoy. It needs structure and planning.
The Discussion Project, a new professional development opportunity beginning this fall at UW–Madison, addresses that goal. It is intended to help UW faculty and academic staff members both facilitate high-quality classroom discussions and prepare their students to participate in them, says McAvoy, the project’s director and primary instructor.