Group Discussion Teaching Strategy

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:54 -- Umar Farooq

Group Discussion Strategy

Group discussion is a child centered strategy, in which students are divided into groups and they are encouraged to discuss on the subject matter given. Group discussion is dominated by the teacher. Classroom climate is autocratic and most of the time, teacher is active and student accept his ideas and views. After giving lectures teachers encourages the student to participate in group-discussion. Teacher supervises them and provide guidance to make the discussion fruitful.

This teaching strategy is focused to achieve higher order of cognitive objectives and affecting objectives. The strategy is based on the following principles.

  1. Principles of active participation
  2. Principle of learning by listening

Formal & Informal Group Discussion

Group discussions are organized in two forms, formal and informal. In formal discussion the matter to be discussed is highly structured, proper schedule is prepared and certain rules are followed. Teacher acts as a leader of the group. In informal discussions, the subject matter to be discussed in unstructured. No fixed schedule is prepared and no rules are to be followed. An outstanding student is selected as the leader by the group of students. He plans for the discussion and lead the discussion. Teacher is passive and supervise the pupils involved in the discussion. Planning for group-discussion follows the below given steps.

  1. Topic is decided for discussion
  2. Objectives of discussion are decided
  3. Time limit is fixed
  4. Weightage point are decided
  5. Penalty points are also decided

Advantages and Disadvantage Group Discussion Teaching Strategy

Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of this teaching strategy


  1. Affective and higher level cognitive objectives are achieved
  2. Group discussion helps in developing self-confidence among the learners
  3. It helps in organizing comparative discussion at favor and disfavor
  4. It helps in providing freedom for expression to the learners.
  5. It helps in developing habit of cooperation
  6. It helps in developing habit of listening one’s own criticism
  7. Learners try to reach at one conclusion with the help of team spirit and cooperation


  1. Group-discussion cannot be used as a teaching strategy but it can be used as a supplement technique after lecture and demonstration method of teaching.
  2. This teaching strategy is quite time consuming. So teacher must fix the time schedule for discussion to make it a purposeful activity
  3. It can only be applied for average and above average students. So it is the teacher duty to form groups on the basis of some criteria of intelligence and abilities. He should provide them topics accordingly. So, that students of low intelligence and abilities can also be benefited.
  4. If not properly organized, it may create bitterness and results are unfruitful. It is just a wastage of time. So a teacher must plan for discussion before hand to avoid irregularities and make it more effective.