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ERIC Number: ED129695
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Jun
Reference Count: 0
So You Want to Be a Discussion Leader: A Discussion with Group Leaders.
Risinger, C. Frederick
This guide deals with specific questions and answers concerning discussions and how to lead them. Instructions for group leaders explain effective seating arrangements, group size, and moderating procedures. Benefits of group discussion include increased self-expression, critical-thinking skills, tolerance of others' views, and realization of the complex nature of the "truth." These benefits develop through group dynamics of interaction, bargaining, compromise, and creativity. Resolving value conflicts and developing policies seem to be the usual purposes of discussion. Chairs should be arranged in a circle or semicircle in order to facilitate open discussion, and group size should be no larger than 15 to 20. Among problems which the discussion leader might encounter are cases of lagging discussion, domination by a minority, and getting off the topic. Suggestions for avoiding these situations are given. Conclusion of the discussion depends on the meeting's purpose. If agreement on a plan of action is required, one should try to reach concensus rather than alienate some group members. Discussion of how individuals' opinions have been altered may be useful, too. If the issue is to be discussed again, an agenda should be established. (AV)
Publication Type: Guides - General
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: American Jewish Committee, New York, NY. Inst. on Pluralism and Group Identity.
Note: For related documents, see SO 009 476-478