'There is no end to a circle nor to what can be done within it.' Circle Time in the secondary history classroom


By John Stanier, published 13th September 2009

Circle Time is a commonly used technique in primary classrooms and is sometimes used in secondary personal and social education lessons. This open form of classroom organisation allows pupils to share opinions in a democratic environment. John Stanier came across Circle Time through pastoral lessons but saw plenty of opportunity for the meaningful transfer of this pedagogical approach to the history classroom. This article sets out ways of using Circle Time as a format for games, stories and re-enactments. Stanier goes further yet in arguing that the circle is a suitable setting for formative and summative assessment and the teaching of sensitive issues. He suggests that the place of teacher as facilitator in this system enables effective speaking and careful  listening from all pupils in the class.

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