Marcus Hung's Talking Circles Promote Equitable Discourse

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In Marcus Hung’s article “Talking Circles Promote Equitable Discourse” the author talks about how he uses “talking circle” a structured discussion format to influence equitable student participation in his math class. As a math teacher he observed that during “Stratified classroom talk” or traditional whole-class discussions the majority of students who tend to volunteer and respond most frequently were students who were mathematically confident, and they were the same few students every time. Even in the small group discussions in his classroom Hung observed that most of the discussions were still done mainly by students who were mathematically confident. According to Hung, these discussion formats did not promote the equitable participation …show more content…

Talking circles are not meant to replace traditional whole-class or small group discussion but to present a different form of discussion. During my first semester of the graduate program I took a foundation course in which professor used the talking circle in every classroom session. I observed the discussion format created platform for all students to equally participate in the classroom talk. I consider myself an active participant in the traditional classroom discussion but at times, given the intensity of the topic I would keep quiet and observe my peers discussing. However, in talking circle I realized there was literally no scope of avoiding class participation as every student would eventually share their thoughts in sequence that would promote equitable discussion and participation. Especially, using talking circle to introduce new math topics would be an effective way to enhance students’ number fluency and get them comfortable with explaining their thought process by using students' prior knowledge. Talking circles could also be helpful to review materials before an assessment by discussing questions and answers with students as a group. By exploring different perspective of talking circle the teachers can best implement the discussion format in their classroom to help minimize stratified talk and support mathematics learning for all

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