Some believe that teachers (for students from age 14-18) should focus on lecturing and asking students to take notes during lectures. Others believe that teachers should get students involved in discussion and encourage them to exchange ideas in class. Which way of teaching do you think is more effective for students' learning?
Educators and researchers have never stopped the examination of the importance and relevance of collaborative and interactive learning that are encouraged by middle schools. When compared with boring lecturing, I, personally, believe that it is far more beneficial to students when they share their ideas and exchange opinions with each other for the following reasons.
First off, exchanging ideas with fellow classmates help students develop critical thinking, presentation skills and other kinds of soft skillsets. When discussing issues with peers, students tend to take a position on a certain issue. In this learning process, students will collect their thoughts and synthesize the concepts learned in textbook or in the lecture to support his or her points. Also, to respond to others' comments, students have to reflect on the rationale of their own arguments and come up with persuasive reasoning. It is obvious that such activities helps students to learning more meaningfully and extensively. Furthermore, students unconsciously learn how to express themselves affirmatively and make their points clear in front of a large audience. It takes right amount of eye contacts, body language and facial expression to convey one's idea in a convincing way and such presentation skills can be valuable asset for one's future career.
Additionally, actively discussing issues with peers can help students to cope with different opinions. When discussing issues with peers, not only do student contribute to the class, but also they get a chance to be exposed to different ideas and perspectives. This is a very conducive experience since we are not living in a vacuum and learning how to appreciate, value and even embrace opinions that are unfamiliar to us can be very important. Furthermore, such experience can be useful in one's future career when one also has to confront with different business solutions provided by their coworkers. A recent study conducted by Harvard Business Review shows that the one who experienced group discussions and exchanging of views in school demonstrates a higher potential to resolve possible conflicts with future coworkers and enjoys far more promising future.
In conclusion, discussion and idea exchanges should be encouraged since such activities can help students to develop critical thinking, presentation skills and other kinds of soft skillsets, also they will get students prepared on how deal with different opinions now and in future career.