Back to Educational Leadership April 2020 Deeper Discussions
Volume 77, No. 7
Get ready for some conversation! With oral communication skills increasingly seen as central to student growth and success, the April 2020 issue of Educational Leadership explores the critical topic of “Deeper Discussions”—looking at ways educators can break free of passive-learning conventions and use classroom conversations to promote higher-order thinking, effective communication, social-emotional skills, and equity.
14 Empowering Children Through Dialogue and Discussion
Wendy L. Ostroff
Done thoughtfully, classroom dialogue is a natural way to help young children think and learn.
22 Your Words Matter
Three language shifts teachers can make to get classroom discussions flowing.
28 In Class Discussions, Slow and Steady Wins
Kevin S. Krahenbuhl
Classroom conversations should be a refuge from our fast-paced, me-first culture.
34 A Better Way to Assess Discussions
When teachers give a group grade for discussions, students focus on collaboration—not “airtime.”
39 Courageous Conversations for Equity and Agency
Anne Vilen and Ron Berger
Grappling with tough topics broadens students’ perspectives and empowers them as civic actors.
45 The Power of Protocols for Equity
Structured protocols can help teachers ensure equitable participation and create more culturally responsive discussions.
52 Opening Up the Conversation—and Students’ Thinking
A seminar format for student discussion can strengthen both critical and creative thinking.
58 Deeper Discussions in Math Add Up
The importance of getting students to think—and talk—like mathematicians.
63 Let’s Talk Math
Meghan Everette and Benjamin Shuldiner
A PD program in Salt Lake City is bringing math teachers into the conversation.
68 Blogging About Books
Taking discussions online can help students open up and get creative.
72 Three Strategies for Better Online Discussions
Michael B. Sherry
How can we encourage students to go deeper in digital discussions?
75 How Technology Is Changing Teachers’ Discussion Skills
Schools strive to balance tech fluency with face-to-face communication skills.
9 Reader’s Guide/Better Listening, Better Teaching
80 Research Matters/Forget the Leading Role
Bryan Goodwin and Max Altman
In effective classroom discussions, teachers aren’t always the heroes.
82 Show & Tell: A Video Column/Take a Closer Look at Close Reading
Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey
Use the power of close reading to deepen student discussions about texts.
84 Leading Together/Deepening Faculty Dialogue
Jill Harrison Berg
Protocols can help educators facilitate more impactful discussions.
86 Confronting Inequity/Schooled in Debate
Matthew R. Kay
A father’s lessons in verbal sparring and building confidence.
88 One to Grow On/Eight Steps to Teaching In-Depth Discussion Skills
Carol Ann Tomlinson
How to foster discussions that defy our busy, sound-bite-saturated age.
6 Readers React
87 Index to Advertisers
90 Tell Us About/Educators share experiences with navigating tough conversations.
93 Whole Child Spotlight: On Discussion Skills
94 ASCD Community in Action
96 EL Takeaways/Dynamic Discussions
EL ONLINE EXCLUSIVES
A Better Route with Conversation Maps
With just a pen and paper, you can track classroom discussions to ensure all voices are being heard.
Moving Beyond “Popcorn” Discussions
How can we get beyond shallow student discussions? By using the right approach and tools to sharpen skills at building up ideas.