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The Discussion Book by Stephen Preskill, Stephen D. Brookfield

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Chapter 14

If You Could Only Ask One Question

This activity focuses on the first part of the questioning-listening-responding dynamic that is so essential to good discussion. It asks small groups to generate only one question that they think enables them to go deeper into an issue or promotes greater understanding of content.

Purposes

  • To demonstrate the power of a single question
  • To practice asking questions that help a discussion build organically
  • To generate questions that open up new avenues for exploration of a topic or issue
  • To promote greater understanding of that topic
  • To gauge the nature of questions that seem to spur the most discussion

How It Works

  • We like to introduce this exercise by offering two examples.
    • First a scene ...

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