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The Discussion Book by Stephen Preskill, Stephen D. Brookfield

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Chapter 36

Hatful of Quotes

In discussions based on previously assigned reading material—say the draft of an organizational strategic plan or an academic text reviewing theory or new content—people are often reluctant to contribute. They don't want to show themselves up by responding in the wrong way, highlighting irrelevant points, or demonstrating fundamental misunderstandings. Hatful of Quotes is designed to ease the anxiety of having to sound smart while ensuring that discussion is grounded in the text.

Purposes

  • To keep participants focused on discussing the actual text that has been assigned
  • To ease the pressure of impromptu discussion or calling on people for a response
  • To allow time for those who need to think before speaking

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