The Art of Interactive Teaching : Listening, Responding, Questioning book cover
1st Edition

The Art of Interactive Teaching
Listening, Responding, Questioning

ISBN 9781138041172
Published June 15, 2017 by Routledge
128 Pages

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Book Description

In this book, Selma Wassermann, international expert on classroom interactions, sets the stage for the relevance of the interactive teaching method, provides data and classroom examples that support its effectiveness at all student learning levels and in different subject areas, and offers detailed and specific help for teachers who are considering embarking on this approach to teaching. Coverage includes "teaching to the big ideas," preparing students, and the basics of developing good listening, responding, and questioning skills in an interactive discussion. A chapter on learning to become reflective practitioners deals with how teachers may become more aware of what they are saying and in better control of framing responses and questions in the art of interactive teaching. The book draws from the author’s long experience and study of interactive teaching using the case method rooted in the Harvard Business School’s approach to large class instruction.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Interactive Teaching: The What, the Why and the How

Class Discussions and Class Discussions

Interactive Teaching — It’s Not for Every Teacher

Choosing Interactive Teaching

Chapter 2 The Shape of Teaching and Learning in the Interactive Classroom

What’s the Big Idea?

Searching for the Meaning of Big Ideas

Big Ideas Lead to the Generation of a Curriculum Task or Investigation

Small Group Work

Follow-up Studies

How Long, oh, How Long?

Chapter 3 Preparing for Interactive Teaching

Tolerating Dissonance

Maintaining and Relinquishing Control

Knowing Your Own Style

Establishing the Contract

Chapter 4 Scenes from Interactive Classrooms

The Train

Germs Make Me Sick!

The Hockey Card

Chapter 5 Basic Interactive Skills: Listening, Attending, Apprehending, Making Meaning

Now the Fun Begins

A Personal Training Program for Improving One’s Listening and Attending Skills

Practice Tasks in Listening, Attending, Paraphrasing, and Being Non-Judgmental

Postgame Reflections on Simulations


Chapter 6 Basic Interactive skills: Responding, Saying Back, Paraphrasing, Interpreting

Waiting for Students to Express Their Ideas

Being Non-Judgmental in Accepting Students’ Responses: Appreciating Students’ Ideas

Conditions that Limit and Actually Crush Student Thinking

Becoming Aware of Differences in Responding


Chapter 7 Basic Interactive Skills: Questioning

Unproductive Questions

Less-than-Productive Questions

Productive Questions

Guidelines for Productive Questions


Chapter 8 The Well-Orchestrated Discussion

Chapter 9 Reflecting in Action

It’s Eezier With a Buddy

Appendix A: Practice in Listening, Attending, Paraphrasing, and Being Non-Judgmental

Appendix B: Practice in Listening, Attending, and Responding

Appendix C: Task Analysis

Appendix D: Analyzing Interactions

Appendix E: Cases

The Hockey Card

Germs Are Germs

The Case of Barry


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Selma Wassermann is Professor Emerita, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, Canada.