We all know the type: the student who is the first to speak in response to every question and drags the discussion in their preferred direction. Either unknowing or uncaring that they are dominating the conversation, they suck out the air from a room of open discourse, creating a challenge for the instructor and potentially frustration for students who might otherwise want to join in. Of all the challenges facing us in leading a productive conversation, this is the one I hear about the most.
Let’s examine five ways of handling the Dominant Derailer.
- Establish Class Rules
- Acknowledge and Ally
- Redirect to a Parking Lot
- Return to an Essential Question
- Use Discussion Entry Tickets