Implementing discussion as an instructional strategy to facilitate students' learning in a social studies classroom in Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


The national curriculum for social studies (2002) states that like most countries of the world, the purpose of teaching social studies in Pakistan is citizenship education. It also recommends teachers to use innovative ways of teaching such as, activity-based approach, question-answer strategy, discussion and others; which could enable students to be active and democratic citizens of Pakistan. However, in real practice most of the social studies classes are based on the teacher's lecturing or dictating notes. These strategies serve transmission and learning of the content, but do not facilitate development of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for democratic citizenship. This small scale action research is an attempt to improve my practices of the strategies of discussion in order to facilitate students in their learning of social studies. In this study, I played the dual role of a teacher and an action researcher. The data was collected through observation, reflective journals and informal talks with the principal, with the teacher and the students. The findings suggested that it takes time for a teacher to become proficient in conducting effective discussions. It indicated that lack of discussion skills and lack of sufficient background knowledge of the topics discussed could affect students' participation in discussion. Teacher's questioning and creating a nonthreatening environment are facets that further improve students' participation. Furthermore, it was found that discussion develops students' thinking, communication skills such as, active listening and agreeing or disagreeing in a constructive manner. On the basis of these findings, recommendations are drawn to suggest teachers and schools to effectively implement the discussion strategy in their classrooms.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library