Evidence That It Works
Active learning techniques, in which students actively discuss and reflect on ideas rather than passively absorbing them, boost students’ engagement and learning. Debate-type activities, in particular, in which students must consider other points of view and clarify their own, have been shown to improve students’ critical thinking, perspective-taking, and communication skills.
Why Does It Matter?
Students’ capacity for empathy can be developed by learning to appreciate other people’s identities and perspectives. Listening and questioning protocols can help set the stage for students to engage more deeply in peer and classroom conversations. This can build trust, belonging, and connection in the classroom, and help students consider ways they can be accountable to upholding classroom norms.
Research shows that a sense of belonging is a fundamental human need that leads to positive life outcomes (mental, physical, social, economic and behavioral). Teachers can play an essential role in providing supportive opportunities for students to build and develop a sense of connectedness and belonging within the school community. Establishing prosocial classroom norms is an important aspect of creating an inclusive school climate. Further, using conversation protocols to explore norms helps increase engagement in classroom conversations and helps to support deeper thinking.