Different Kinds Of Teacher-Student Arguments And How Teachers Can Deal With Them By Robert Bacal
Not all arguments that occur in class between teacher and student are destructive. In fact, the right kinds of disagreement can be used by teachers to teach critical thinking skills, and help students understand that not everything can be explained in strict black and white, oversimplified ways.
On the other hand, when students argue, not about issues, but are trying to disrupt the class, there is a problem, because those are not often constructive learning experiences for anyone. Or, when class arguments become power struggles, particularly with defiant children, that's not often constructive either.
The First Kind: Students Expressing Disagreement, But In A Reasoned Way
There's a growing awareness that critical thinking, and communication skills are important for children to learn, and to do that, students need to "test" their thinking against other people. Provided the student is trying to establish a position on an issue, even when the teacher disagrees, that's a learning opportunity for everyone.
Teachers, though, need to avoid feeling personally attacked, or feel that their authority is being challenged when a student disagrees in this way. Think of it as a student flexing his or her intellect, regardless of age. Yes, the child may be wrong. But it isn't always necessary or wise to PROVE the child is wrong, particularly when it comes to expressing opinions.
The Second Kind: Student-Teacher Arguments That Disrupt
The second type of argument teachers encounter tend to disrupt the classroom, either because the student is arguing something that is only of interest to him or her (e.g. getting a grade increased, or making excuses for not doing homework - trying to get away with something), OR arguing simply to argue. The latter is quite common for teenagers who seem to relish the idea of exercising attempts at power, and flexing their wings a bit.
In these cases, the "arguments" need to be closed down, or at least, entertained out of the view of other students. Not only does this decrease disruption, but it also removes the "audience factor", kids showing off in front of their peers, which often fuels these kinds of arguments.
Handle These Different Types of Arguments
Teachers need to handle these arguments and disagreement differently, because they are quite different things, motivated by different student needs, some constructive some not.
Below you'll find some excellent articles, complete with advice and examples on how to respond appropriately to these different events.
Arguments can be opportunities for the entire class to learn, provided they are handled well, and without teacher ego entering into the equation.
Top : Students Who Argue With Teachers - Dealing With :
Argumentative students, regardless of age, can drive teachers crazy, and disrupt the class, particularly if teachers get drawn in, and handle it badly. Here's some ideas on how to deal with student arguments.
More For Handling Defiant, Argumentative Students: Students Who Argue With Teachers - Dealing WithArguing in Class - How Teachers Can Avoid Getting Caught - by Ken Shore
Five good overview ideas on how teachers can deal with argumentative students in class. Simple, but effective. pop (Views So Far 1177 )
For College Teachers: The "I Deserve a Better Grade on This" Conversation - by Maryellen Weimer
It happens all the time. A university or college students makes the argument for a better grade to the professor. How do you handle it? Here are some tips. (Views So Far 500 )
For Teachers: Why You Should Never Argue With Students; And How To Avoid It - by Michael Linsin
When students try to bait teachers into arguments in class, it's important that teachers not get caught up in trying to win the argument. Here are a number of things teachers should avoid in these situations. pop (Views So Far 745 )
Must Read: How Disruptive Students Escalate Hostility and Disorder - by Hill M. Walker
Another must read for teachers, since every teacher has faced the challenge of the challenging and even disruptive student. Complete with example, dialogues, things to avoid and constructive techniques to use to manage arguments with students. (Views So Far 471 )
NC teacher reportedly suspended after telling student not to criticize Obama - by Fox news
News report to serve as a reminder that when a teacher argues with a student, and loses control, it's the teacher who pays the price. Remember, every one has video built in to their phones! (Views So Far 467 )