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The Discussion Book by Stephen Preskill, Stephen D. Brookfield

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Chapter 48

The Three-Person Rule

This is an easy rule for participants to remember in large-group discussions.

Purposes

  • To stop a small minority from monopolizing a large-group discussion
  • To create opportunities for multiple people to contribute
  • To socialize people into listening to several people before making a follow-up comment

How It Works

  • The facilitator opens a large-group discussion by proposing a ground rule to ensure that as many voices as possible are heard: once someone has contributed something to the discussion he or she should not contribute again until at least three other people have spoken.
  • This rule should not be in effect, however, if someone asks a speaker to clarify, explain, or expand on a contribution she or ...

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