Discussions can be an excellent strategy for enhancing student motivation, fostering intellectual agility, and encouraging democratic habits. They create opportunities for students to practice and sharpen a number of skills, including the ability to articulate and defend positions, consider different points of view, and enlist and evaluate evidence.
I understand that careful planning can help teachers ensure that discussions are lively without being chaotic and exploratory without losing focus. When planning a discussion, it is helpful to consider not only cognitive, but also social/emotional, and physical factors that can either foster or inhibit the productive exchange of ideas. Also it is important to keep in mind what you want to accomplish by the end of the discussion, and keep your eye on the prize!