|The purpose of this study is to find out what types of discussion occurs in peer discussions and what learning
possibilities these types enable. The starting point is based on Eric Mazur’s previous work with peer instruction.
Twelve students’ interactions are observed during six separate peer discussions. The students are, also,
individually interviewed about their learning experience. The data show that students can exhibit three different
types of discussion. These three types are: narrow discussion: The students state their answer and give a narrow
explanation of their choice. Here, the students have the possibility to broaden and fortify their previous beliefs;
confirming discussion: The students explain why they have picked their answer and why they have excluded the
other alternatives. Here, the students have the possibility to broaden and fortify their previous beliefs to an
greater extent than in narrow discussion; and contradictory discussion: The students get into an argumentation
on why their choice is the correct one. Here, the students have the possibility to reassess previous beliefs and see
the subject from a new perspective. The significant pedagogic outcome of this study is that students do not
always have discussions that are good for learning. Therefore, teachers need to activate the students into having a
contradictory discussion which enables better learning possibilities.