Much learning takes place when students make sense of experiences by putting their ideas into words and comparing their ideas to those of others. To be truly effective, educational experiences need to be rich with intentional opportunities for student discourse. When students engage in discussions that build on prior knowledge, encourage divergent thinking, and challenge the strength of their evidence, they actively deepen their conceptual understanding of complex ideas. In discussion, students practice clarifying their thinking, communicating ideas effectively, and asking productive questions. They learn to think critically and creatively. Discussion validates students’ contributions to their own learning. To an instructor, student talk and discussion can be a window into students’ brains, providing a view of their prior knowledge and current understanding. Leading discussions effectively takes skill and practice, and depends on an instructor’s ability to create a “culture of talk.” Instructors who lead productive discussions use broad questions, cultivate a safe space for sharing ideas, focus on interesting topics, and respond non-judgmentally to students’ ideas. Most of all, they’re genuinely interested in how students are putting ideas together to make sense of their experiences.