facilitate an effective discussion

I found his helpful to think about when we facilitate a discussion:

Strategies for encouraging equal participation in discourse from Cranton’s Understanding and Promoting Transformative Learning: A Guide for Educators of Adults, second edition.

1. Find proactive ways to stimulate dialogue from different perspectives – controversial statements, readings from contradictory points of view, or structured group activities that lead people to see alternatives
2. Develop discourse procedure within the group. In order to meet its goal of validity testing, discourse needs to stay focused. Group members can be encouraged to take on the roles of checking and controlling the direction of the discourse, ensuring equal participation, and watching out for coercion and persuasion
3. Avoid making dismissive statements or definitive summaries. To minimize the role of disciplinary power and self-surveillance, the educator must be careful not to shape the discussion through implicit regulatory functions
4. Be conscious of nonverbal communication such as smiles, nods, and eye contact that can give clues as to what the educator is approving
5. Encourage quiet time for reflection within any exchange

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