Interpretive discussion

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An interpretive discussion is a discussion in which participants explore and/or resolve interpretations often pertaining to texts of any medium containing significant ambiguity in meaning.

Contents

Education[edit]

Interpretive discussions are an effective pedagogical method throughout educational systems in classes of nearly every subject and grade.[1][2] A major goal of pedagogical interpretive discussions is for students to delve deeply into texts in order to better understand their meanings. Pedagogical interpretive discussions typically culminate with syntheses of arguments presented, engaging students in critical thinking as they infer meaning from texts, formulate personal opinions, respectfully argue for their own interpretations and synthesize arguments. Over the course of discussions, participants benefit from cognitive exercise as well as communication and social relationship skill-building.[2] Cognitive skills developed include inquiry,[3][4] critical thinking, reflective thinking,[5][6] metacognition,[7] reading comprehension, text inferencing, pragmatic competence and metalinguistic awareness.

In the United States, the Common Core State Standards Initiative English Language Arts Standards[8] "require that all students learn to make interpretations of texts. The standards insist that students be able to comprehend what is stated explicitly in a text, infer what follows logically from explicit statement, and make arguments based upon textual evidence to support those inferences — i.e., interpret a text for themselves. In addition, students are expected to be able to engage in conversation about the meaning of texts with others whose perspectives and backgrounds may differ from their own. The exchanges are to be 'collaborative', meaning that students will work together to develop ideas — 'building on one another's' — and state their views clearly."[9]

Leading Interpretive Discussions[edit]

Successful leaders of interpretive discussions should be involved with the ideas and opinions that their students express. This involves both being familiar with the texts and developing lists of questions to use as possible jumping points for discussions as well as getting participants involved throughout the processes of discussions. Successful leaders also come to discussions with open minds as to the outcomes or endpoints of discussions. Leaders must listen to discussants, acting as facilitators and not as authorities.[2]

Before discussions, leaders should carefully select readings and communicate expectations to participants. This ensures that participants will have adequate time to prepare and to understand the expectations for discussions such as expected attendance at discussions, frequency of participation and proper ways to disagree respectfully with other participants.[10]:38–39

In some discussion models, participants are expected to come to discussions prepared with their own lists of questions about texts, to encourage independent thinking. Interpretive discussions can arise or flow from participants' questions; discussants can be genuinely motivated to participate as well as to engage with texts so as to better understand the meanings of texts. That is, no questions need be thrust upon groups for discussions, but rather interested discussants can participate actively to better understand the meanings of texts.[1] In other discussion models (often those with more limited time), leaders guide participants through questions to ensure that important topics are covered over the course of discussions.[10]:40

In leading discussions, leaders should encourage every member of the discussion to participate. Some consider that this includes calling on participants who are habitually quiet, even when they do not volunteer, to try to engage them in discussions and to encourage them to share their opinions and interpretations.[10]:43 As leaders, it is also important to remember that "one of the most important things an instructor can do to promote student participation in discussion is to maintain a respectful posture toward students and their contributions."[10]:45 By treating participants and their questions and interpretations respectfully, leaders will encourage participants to continue to participate and to take risks.

Leaders of discussions should also encourage participants to engage more deeply with texts by asking probing follow-up questions, asking for specific passages in texts as support and by summarizing what participants have said and asking if participants want to clarify. In this way, leaders of discussions act as facilitators. Finally, discussion leaders are responsible for providing conclusions or wrap ups to discussions, asking for final questions or clarifications and providing contexts for discussions.

Discussion Questions[edit]

Interpretive questions may have one or many valid answers. Participants in interpretive discussions are asked to interpret various aspects of texts or to hypothesize about intended interpretations using text-based evidence. Other types of discussion questions include fact-based and evaluative questions. Fact-based questions tend to have one valid answer and can involve recall of texts or specific passages. Evaluative questions ask discussion participants to form responses based on experiences, opinions, judgments, knowledge and/or values rather than texts.

Basic or focus questions are interpretive questions which comprehensively address an aspect of interpretating a selection. Resolving basic or focus questions typically requires investigation and examination of multiple passages within a selection. Cluster questions, which need not be interpretive questions, are optionally prepared by discussion leaders and are often organized to help to resolve the answers to basic or focus questions. Cluster questions may additionally serve as catalysts for further discussions.

Semantics[edit]

Main article: Semantics

Denotation[edit]

Main article: Denotation

Connotation[edit]

Main article: Connotation

Extension[edit]

Main article: Extension (semantics)

Ambiguity[edit]

Main article: Ambiguity

Polysemy[edit]

Main article: Polysemy

Cognitive Semantics[edit]

Main article: Cognitive semantics

Perception[edit]

Main article: Perception
Multistable Perception[edit]

Pragmatics[edit]

Main article: Pragmatics

Context[edit]

Priming[edit]

Main article: Priming (psychology)

Culture[edit]

Main article: Culture

Historical Pragmatics[edit]

Main article: Historical pragmatics

Communication Studies[edit]

Main article: Communication studies

Visual Communication[edit]

Main article: Visual communication

Linguistics[edit]

Main article: Linguistics

Literal and Figurative Language[edit]

Text Linguistics[edit]

Main article: Text linguistics

Cognitive Linguistics[edit]

Main article: Cognitive linguistics

Historical Linguistics[edit]

Semiotics[edit]

Main article: Semiotics

Denotation[edit]

Connotation[edit]

Methods of Semiotics[edit]

Commutation Test[edit]

Paradigmatic Analysis[edit]

Main article: Paradigmatic analysis

Syntagmatic Analysis[edit]

Main article: Syntagmatic analysis

Film Semiotics[edit]

Main article: Film semiotics

Cognitive Semiotics[edit]

Main article: Cognitive semiotics

Semiosis[edit]

Main article: Semiosis

Hermeneutics[edit]

Main article: Hermeneutics

Subtext[edit]

Main article: Subtext

Allusion[edit]

Main article: Allusion

Recontextualisation[edit]

Main article: Recontextualisation

Intertextuality[edit]

Main article: Intertextuality

Interdiscursivity[edit]

Main article: Interdiscourse

Hermeneutic Circle[edit]

Main article: Hermeneutic circle

Exegesis[edit]

Main article: Exegesis

Eisegesis[edit]

Main article: Eisegesis

Literature[edit]

Main article: Literature

Literary Theory[edit]

Main article: Literary theory

Reader-response Criticism[edit]

Literary Criticism[edit]

Main article: Literary criticism

Stylistics[edit]

Drama[edit]

Main article: Drama

Comedy[edit]

Main articles: Comedy and Theories of humor

Philology[edit]

Main article: Philology

Poetry[edit]

Main article: Poetry

Theory of Poetry[edit]

Main article: Poetics

History of Poetry[edit]

Main article: History of poetry

Art[edit]

Main articles: Art and Aesthetic interpretation

Theory of Art[edit]

Main article: Theory of art

Art Criticism[edit]

Main article: Art criticism

Art History[edit]

Main article: Art history

Theatre[edit]

Main article: Theatre

Theory of Theatre[edit]

Theatre Criticism[edit]

Main article: Theatre criticism

History of Theatre[edit]

Main article: History of theatre

Improvisational Theatre[edit]

Film[edit]

Main article: Film

Film Theory[edit]

Main article: Film theory

Film Criticism[edit]

Main article: Film criticism

History of Film[edit]

Main article: History of film

Narrative[edit]

Main article: Narrative

Narrative Theory[edit]

Main article: Narratology

History[edit]

Main articles: History and Historiography

Philosophy[edit]

Main article: Philosophy

Philosophy of Language[edit]

Context Principle[edit]

Main article: Context principle

Phenomenology[edit]

Phenomenology of Interpretation[edit]

Aesthetic Emotions[edit]

Main article: Aesthetic emotions

Aesthetics[edit]

Main article: Aesthetics

Philosophy of Film[edit]

Main article: Philosophy of film

Logic[edit]

Argumentation[edit]

Main article: Argumentation theory

Law[edit]

Religion[edit]

Science[edit]

Anthropology[edit]

Main article: Anthropology

Cognitive Anthropology[edit]

Psychology[edit]

Main article: Psychology

Psycholinguistics[edit]

Main article: Psycholinguistics

Cognitive Philology[edit]

Main article: Cognitive philology

Cognitive Poetics[edit]

Main article: Cognitive poetics

Psychology of Art[edit]

Main article: Psychology of art

Gestalt Psychology[edit]

Main article: Gestalt psychology

Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis[edit]

Cognitive Science[edit]

Main article: Cognitive science

Analogy[edit]

Main article: Analogy

Concept[edit]

Main article: Concept

Abstraction[edit]

Main article: Abstraction

Conceptual Metaphor[edit]

Main article: Conceptual metaphor

Conceptual Blending[edit]

Main article: Conceptual blending

Artificial Intelligence[edit]

Knowledge Representation[edit]

Cognitive Architectures[edit]

Computational Linguistics[edit]

Speech Recognition[edit]

Main article: Speech recognition

Natural Language Understanding[edit]

Semantic Interpretation[edit]

Natural Language Generation[edit]

Speech Synthesis[edit]

Main article: Speech synthesis

Computational Creativity[edit]

Computational Semiotics[edit]

Multi-agent Systems[edit]

Main article: Multi-agent system

Sociology[edit]

Main article: Sociology

Sociolinguistics[edit]

Main article: Sociolinguistics

Social Semiotics[edit]

Main article: Social semiotics

Political Science[edit]

Main article: Political science

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Haroutunian-Gordan, Sophie (1998). "A Study of Reflective Thinking: Patterns in Interpretive Discussion". Education Theory 48 (1): 33–58. 
  2. ^ a b c Haroutunian-Gordon, Sophie (1991). Turning the Soul: Teaching Through Conversation in the High School. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226316765. 
  3. ^ Dewey, John (1938). Logic: The Theory of Inquiry. Lexington, Massachusetts: D. C. Heath and Company. 
  4. ^ Colapietro, Vincent (2005). "Cultivating the Arts of Inquiry, Interpretation and Criticism: A Peircean Approach to our Educational Practices". Studies in Philosophy and Education 24 (3-4): 337–366. 
  5. ^ Dewey, John (1910). How We Think. Lexington, Massachusetts: D. C. Heath and Company. 
  6. ^ Rodgers, Carol (2002). "Defining Reflection: Another Look at John Dewey and Reflective Thinking". The Teachers College Record 104 (4): 842–866. 
  7. ^ Mokhtari, Kouider; Reichard, Carla A. (2002). "Assessing Students' Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies". Journal of Educational Psychology 94 (2): 249–259. 
  8. ^ "Common Core State Standards Initiative English Language Arts Standards". Common Core State Standards Initiative. Common Core State Standards Initiative. 
  9. ^ Haroutunian-Gordan, Sophie (2014-04-15). "Interpretive Discussion: A Route Into Textual Interpretation". Education Week Teacher. 
  10. ^ a b c d Salemi, Michael K.; Hansen, W. Lee (2005). Discussing Economics: A Classroom Guide to Preparing Discussion Questions and Leading Discussion. Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 9781781958476.