Discussion charter


  • Arguable topics
  • respect for others opinions
  • ability to share or not
  • passionate verbal activity
  • Sitting in a circle facing each other, everyone involved. No pressure on individuals to speak at any time.
  • No raising hands
  • Truly listening to what someone has to say, not half listening and thinking of your response at the same time, try to build your idea off someone else in order to create an interesting flow of ideas.
  • Employ a system for supplying candy or baked goods every once and a while for the class. Good stuff.
  • Allowing for discussions to flow naturally (into other discussions if they are relevant)
  • Encourage listening to others before speaking
  • Shape ideas off of others- don’t go off topic
  • Prepare for discussions
  • Talk about something everyone in the group is interested about


  • One sided
  • disregard for other opinions
  • being cut off
  • dull topic
  • Political/Religious
  • Condescending remarks
  • General arrogance or know-it-all personality.
  • Everyone initially agrees with each other
  • Attacking other people verbally (and physically)
  • lecturing instead of having a discussion
  • Don’t repeat ideas that were already brought up
  • When people don't read or do the assignment before hand
  • More than one person talking

Discussion leading

Welcome to life on the other side of the classroom! In pairs, you are responsible for leading discussion for 30-45 minutes of class. Discussion dates will be assigned the third week of class. Signup will happen in Box.

From the list below and your own research, select 1-2 articles for the class to read and discuss.

You are encouraged to match the scheduled course readings with a news article or blog post on a similar topic. Articles must be approved and posted one week prior to discussion.

You are responsible for generating questions and leading discussion for 30 minutes. Here are some suggestions:

  • Be creative! Think about the types of classroom experiences that you have useful or exciting.
  • Allow for multiple learning styles. Some students talk to think, while others prefer time to process ideas to themselves or through writing.
  • Decide on a structure for discussion. Whole group, small groups? Is this a debate? A scavenger hunt?
  • Don't be afraid of silence!

Here are a few guides for leading discussion:

Potential Readings

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