Promoting reasoning, problem-solving and argumentation during small group discussions

Gillies, Robyn M. (2012). Promoting reasoning, problem-solving and argumentation during small group discussions. In Robyn M. Gillies (Ed.), Pedagogy: new developments in the learning sciences (pp. 131-150) New York, United States: Nova Science Publishers.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Gillies, Robyn M.
Title of chapter Promoting reasoning, problem-solving and argumentation during small group discussions
Title of book Pedagogy: new developments in the learning sciences
Place of Publication New York, United States
Publisher Nova Science Publishers
Publication Year 2012
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
Series Educating in a Competitive and Globalizing World
ISBN 9781621008460
Editor Robyn M. Gillies
Chapter number 8
Start page 131
End page 150
Total pages 20
Total chapters 22
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Cooperative learning is widely accepted as a pedagogical practice that can be employed in classrooms to promote students engagement and learning. When children cooperate, they learn to attend to what others have to say, provide and receive assistance, affirm and disconfirm conceptions, and, in so doing, they develop mutual understandings of the topic at hand. From a Vygotskian perspective, the group context enables members to engage in dialogic exchanges and think about issues in ways they may have never previously considered. In so doing, information and ideas are exchanged, transformed and appropriated so they become new ways of thinking or knowledge building. Moreover, when children engage in reciprocal interactions with each other, they learn to use language differently to explain experiences and realities and, in so doing, they find new functions for language in expressing their thoughts and feelings. In fact, talk is so important that it uow recognised as more than a means of sharing thoughts; it is also a social mode of thinking and a tool for the joint construction of knowledge and new learning.
     However, although it is well acknowledged that students benefit from interacting with others, it is only recently that research has begun to examine the role that teachers play in promoting student dialogue in the classroom. This is a concern because there is no doubt that teachers play a key role in inducting children into ways of thinking and learning by making explicit how to express ideas, seek help, contest opposing positions, and reason cogently. In short, teachers play a key role in helping students to acquire the linguistic tools needed to promote thinking, problem-solving, and reasoning. This chapter reports on two studies undertaken by the author that illustrate how teachers' discourse affects students' discourse, problem-solving and reasoning (Study 1) and how teachers can challenge students' cognitive and metacognitive thinking to promote reasoned argumentation and learning (Study 2). The studies highlight the importance of systematically constructing experiences in classrooms to teach these skills to students.
Keyword Cooperative learning
Reasoning and problem-solving
Argumentation
High-level thinking skills
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Book Chapter
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
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Created: Tue, 18 Sep 2012, 10:02:19 EST by Claire Backhouse on behalf of School of Education