According to the modern educational thought a child is not considered as a passive listener but the emphasis is given to make him active in the process of learning.
A knowledge which is gained by doing is always permanent. Different teaching methods are used to make the child active. Discussion method is also one of them. It is a method which works in a group environment with adequate independence. Some definitions are given below to make its meaning clearer.
“Discussion is an educational group activity in which teacher and the students talk Over some problem or topic” – James M. Lee
“Discussion means thoughtful consideration of the relationships involved in the topic I under study’ –Thomas M. Risk
According to teacher training center, the Discussion may be formal and informal. In formal discussion every activity is performed in a systematic manner, definite rules and norms are observed in it. Students themselves select the leader, secretary and other officials for conducting such discussion. In informal discussion informal atmosphere is essential. Respect should be given to each child’s contribution and group decisions should be respected. Shy children should be encouraged. The teacher’s role in this discussion is of crucial importance.
Importance of Discussion Method – Discussion is one of the most valuable techniques used in democratic education. Its use is essential to effective clarification of goals, planning and evaluation Discussion provides a practical opportunity to develop a group feeling. Attention is given to problems, questions and interests which arise in the daily programmer. Ideas are shared, points of view are expressed, leaders are selected, responsibilities are delegated end respect is shown for the right of others to express themselves.
Form of Discussion Method – A leader, participants, problem or question and materials are required or discussion method. Students themselves or the teacher can present problem for the discussion. After the presentation of problem the teacher can throw light on the aims and the sources of the study materials. Thus they will prepare themselves for presenting their own thoughts. The discussion will begin after collecting materials, data and information related to the different group-member. The discussion will be conducted and carried on through elected leader or teacher. The teacher’s job will be to remove the doubts of students. He will work as an ordinary member. The elected leader will also present his views after the views expressed by the students; this will be the end of the discussion. The entire proceedings will be noted down by the student secretary.
MERITS AND DEMERITS OF DISCUSSION METHOD GIVEN BY EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION
- It is useful both for the juniors and seniors.
- It helps in developing the feeling of co-operation and tolerance among the students.
- It helps clarifying and sharpening the issues.
- It helps the teacher in discovering students who have a potential for becoming genuine leaders.
- It helps students in making decisions independently.
- It helps pupils in summarizing the work.
- It helps students in developing the habit of self study.
- It kills student’s time, dragging them into mere discussion.
- In discussion some students remain active and they don’t give opportunities to other shy students to participate.
- Shy and dull students do not derive much benefit through it.
- Its proper conduction is possible in the higher classes.