Discussion leader assignment

Weekly discussion leaders

For this assignment, you’ll work in groups to coordinate discussions of about 50 minutes to one hour. This is a chance for you to both delve more deeply into a subject (there’s no way to learn like teaching!) and to practice and get feedback on your own teaching.

Please meet as a group in advance of class to work out the mechanics and the details of the reading. I would like you to begin your discussion with a five- to ten-minute introduction to the reading. One group member can take this on, or you can split it.

Feel free to be as creative as you’d like in planning our discussion. We can participate in a typical, seminar-style conversation, or you can try other activities to get people working and thinking in other ways.

Sometimes discussions don’t work out, no matter what you do, so I won’t penalize you for experimenting with something that doesn’t go as planned. Instead, I’ll be watching to see that:

  • you and your group have a thorough and detailed understanding of that day’s reading.
  • you find ways to place the reading in context with other themes we’ve discussed in class.
  • you ask open-ended questions that students can actually answer, get to an essential issue in the reading, and work naturally with the flow of conversation.
  • you step into the discussion as necessary, but neither dominate the conversation nor absent yourself from it entirely.
  • you listen attentively to your classmates’ contributions and encourage your classmates to synthesize and build on each others’ remarks.
  • you practice good time-management, so that discussion covers your intended material in the time allotted.

One member of the group should submit your lesson plan or questions via CCLE.