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The Discussion Book by Stephen Preskill, Stephen D. Brookfield

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Chapter 24

Understanding Check

This exercise asks people to paraphrase a previous speaker's comments to ensure they have accurately understood what they said. When a paraphrase is perceived to be inaccurate, the previous speaker explains what has been misunderstood.

Purposes

  • To practice active listening
  • To practice accurate paraphrasing
  • To teach people to check their understandings are accurate
  • To demonstrate how easy it is to misinterpret someone's original meaning
  • To avoid people attributing words and ideas that speakers did not express

How It Works

  • Before a discussion everyone agrees to the Understanding Check ground rule, which holds that when anyone calls out “check for understanding,” the next to speak summarizes the previous ...

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