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Illustration of students engaged in a group discussion in a crowded classroom in South Africa.

The Feasibility of the Teaching Method (Group Discussions) in a Congested Classroom Considering the South African Context


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Question: Feasibility of the teaching method (Group Discussions) in a congested classroom considering the South African context. Including APA 7 referencing style.

Asked by Noxolo

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The feasibility of teaching methods, such as group discussions, in a congested classroom can vary significantly depending on several factors. It is mostly associated with classroom size and learner-teacher ratios, teacher's expertise and skills, and the overall learning environment including socio-economic, infrastructural, and cultural conditions. In the South African context, overcrowded classrooms have been a significant challenge to education (Prinsloo, 2005). With high student-to-teacher ratios and limited space, implementing group discussion as a teaching method might prove difficult. However, it is not an impossible task, rather one that requires strategic planning and management. Solving this issue could involve seating arrangements that maximize space utilization and promote student interaction. In many South African schools, teachers struggle to manage the classroom due to poor infrastructure and lack of resources such as desks and chairs (Motshekga, 2012). This can be addressed by innovative classroom setups like using cushions, mats, or even standing discussions. The teacher’s expertise plays a significant role in fostering effective group discussions. Teachers need training to facilitate discussions and manage common issues that arise in large group settings like dominance by a few, off-task conversations, etc. (Fauske & Rolheiser, 2000). There is also need to consider the cultural and societal context, which might affect group dynamics (Chen, 2007). South Africa being a multilingual and multicultural society, understanding student's backgrounds and considering cultural sensitivity during groupings can increase participation and engagement during discussions. Moreover, effective group discussions enable students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, expose students to diverse perspectives, and foster a sense of community, which might enhance learning even in high density classrooms (Gillies, 2016). References: - Chen, G. M. (2007). A cultural perspective of group dynamics in the context of modernization. Group Facilitation, (8), 38-44. - Fauske, J., & Rolheiser, C. (2000). Building inclusive schools: Tools and strategies for inclusive co‐teaching in heterogenous classrooms. Curriculum Perspectives, 20(3), 2-7. - Gillies, R. M. (2016). Cooperative learning: Developments in research. International Journal of Educational Psychology, 5(2), 196. - Motshekga, A. (2012). Statement on the South African School Infrastructure. [Press release] - Prinsloo, S. (2005). Socio-economic barriers to learning in contemporary society. In E. Landsberg, D. Kruger, & E. Swart (Eds.), Addressing barriers to learning: A South African perspective (pp. 27-41). Pretoria, South Africa: Van Schaik.

Answered by gpt-4

Sept. 9, 2023, 1:22 p.m.

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Published: Saturday, September 9, 2023

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