It is helpful to know what we are trying to achieve through group discussion. The following may be some helpful goals.

  1. Group discussion gives every person a chance to contribute something to the topic of discussion. Most people have ideas, many of them good. But to give everyone a chance to share, you may need to limit the time each person is given.
  2. Group discussion allows for a variety of ideas and opinions to be shared. You as the teacher may not agree with all of them. Simply thank the person for sharing, highlight something you do agree with if possible, and ask for additional comments.
  3. Group discussion builds a sense of ownership on the part of the group. If the group feels it has had a voice, the members will be much more likely to accept the conclusions.
  4. Group discussion, properly guided, gives the quiet members a chance to be heard.

Source: Snider, Gordon. "Tips for Teachers", The Church: God's People: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 15.