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The Discussion Book by Stephen Preskill, Stephen D. Brookfield

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Chapter 15

On-the-Spot Questions and Topics

Drawing on the work of Christopher Phillips (2001) and others who have popularized Socrates café, groups of ten to twelve generate a question on the spot that will be the focus of an open, critical, and freewheeling forty-five-minute conversation.

Purposes

  • To put the decision about the discussion topic under group member control
  • To practice holding a discussion on a question of mutual interest without preparation or the need for additional materials
  • To learn how to clarify areas of agreement and disagreement in discussions of questions generated on the spot by a group
  • To structure discussions so that everyone actively participates

How It Works

  • Each member of the group brings one question ...

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