Dr. Susan Edwards, professor of education in the Department of Teacher Education in the Georgia Regents University College of Education, published a book called “Getting Them to Talk: A Guide to Leading Discussions in Middle Grades Classrooms.”
“Class discussions keep everyone active and engaged, either by sharing or thinking. Students learn how to use effective habits of discussion, explain their ideas, and support them with evidence,” Edwards said. “The book gives practicing educators a practical guide to techniques that can be used to facilitate discussion.”
Engaging middle schoolers in class discussions can be challenging amidst the physical, emotional, intellectual and social changes students experience. They have a growing desire to think and act independently, but still desire to be accepted by peers. Being able to discuss ideas with others is an important life skill that can be developed during the middle school years.
“The trick is to get them talking in a purposeful way. This book details workable strategies I have collected over many years that will engage students in conversations about the content they are learning,” Edwards said. “Teachers will feel empowered to use that natural inclination middle level students have to talk with each other as leverage to get them to engage with their content at a deeper level.”
Edwards is a professor and researcher, and serves as the Middle Grades Program Coordinator at Georgia Regents University. With 25 years of experience in the field of middle grades education, Edwards focuses her scholarly research on active learning in the middle grades classroom.
The book is published by the Association for Middle Level Education, and will be available in May. Click here to learn more about her book and order a copy.