The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies [Gonzales]

The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies by Jennifer Gonzales

One of the most humbling lessons from my tenure at AltSchool is that it is often the case that progressive education has leapfrogged progressive workplaces, in accomplishing some shared goals they both have in common.

My approach to tackling a new organizational challenge I just uncovered always starts with some research, to see whether other practitioners in my domain (people) have come across the same challenge and how they went about solving it. Often times they have, and building on their solution leads me to a better outcome than reinventing the wheel, making the same mistakes they have made, and learning from them the hard way.

Nowadays, I try to supplement the search in my own domain, with a search in the school/education domain. Educators are often times trying to tackle similar organizational challenges in their classroom. And what’s working well with kids, tends, with some mild modifications, to work well with adults.

Jennifer’s list is a good example. Large group discussions (often referred to as “meetings”) are an integral part of corporate life. Creating a meeting experience in which participants feel fully engaged is a challenge, regardless of whether the participants are kids or adults. Jennifer offers some good strategies that are worth considering for your next meeting or workshop.

  • Gallery Walk
  • Philosophical Chairs
  • Pinwheel Discussion
  • Socratic Seminar
  • Affinity Mapping
  • Concentric Circles
  • Conver-Stations
  • Fishbowl
  • Hot Seat
  • Snowball Discussion
  • Asynchronous Voice
  • Backchannel Discussions
  • Talk Moves
  • Teach — OK
  • Think-Pair-Share

Give ’em a try!

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The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies [Gonzales]

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