Abstract 3, Volume 10, Number 2, Summer 2015

Strategically Organic: One U.S. History Teacher’s Experience With Class Discussion

Caroline C. Sullivan

Georgia State University

Audrey Schewe

Georgia State University

Emily Juckett

Hillcrest High School

Heather Stevens

Shiloh Middle School


Effective discussion is inextricably linked to democracy. Social studies curriculum and instruction should engage students in practicing democratic skills and habits of mind. This case study provides a microanalysis of one U.S. History teacher’s commitment to fostering discussion in her classroom as a theorized pedagogical practice. A better understanding of what motivates teachers to engage students in classroom discussions paralleled with rich descriptions of how this teacher plans and implements discussion could encourage others to try this approach to teaching and learning.

Keywords:  classroom discussion, student-centered learning, U.S. History teaching, lesson planning, primary sources, authentic intellectual work

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