Ideas for Creating and Overcoming Student Silences
The key idea is that 50 minutes of teacher talk with passive student listening is relatively ineffective in developing student learning. Teachers can create silences for productive active student learning. Students can also change from passive listeners to active talker-discussers of their learning. Ideas are given about how to overcome silences between students and between students and teachers. In this paper we consider creating and overcoming silences. Ideas are given for creating silences for individual active activities and creating silences, via wait times, to provoke facilitated class discussion. Then suggestions are given on how to overcome student silence via peer discussion and on overcoming the silence between teacher and students. But first consider the research upon which these ideas are based.