- 1 Guided Discussion
Advantages of Guided Discussion
- Best method for creating leadership abilities.
- Draws out the potential of those in the group.
- Produces people with well thought through personal convictions. Forced to think through concepts that may be hazy.
- Builds self confidence.
- Helps students to express themselves clearly.
- It allows for maximum student participation.
- Produces openness. Allowed to express themselves and form personal conclusions. People react to ideas being forced upon them.
Advantages for the Leader of Guided Discussion
- Does not require a person of great public speaking ability.
- Allows flexibility.
- Easier to monitor if people are learning and applying truth.
- Provides an open door for ministry or personal counter.
Limitations of the Guided Discussion Method
- Not the place to provide large volumes of truth.
- Should be only used when preceded by preparation common to all students.
- Requires a thorough background on the part of the leader of subject under discussion.
- Avoid following pitfalls
- Success of guided discussion depends on thorough preparation of both students and leaders. Can become a 'pooling of ignorance'.
Things That Hinder Discussions
- No direction or guidance from leader.
- A few people who monopolise the discussion
- Arguments that lead to expression or holding bad attitudes inside.
- Tendency of leader to talk to much. Leader should summarise conclusions of group and allow the group to correct any error.
- Getting off on unfruitful tangents.
- Let students theorise without application.
- Leader does not have in his mind ahead of time what he is seeking to accomplish. i.e. Primary goals of discussion.
Conducting the Guided Discussion
- Begin with calling upon the most talkative then enter others into conversation.
- Watch for those who would like to participate.
- Guide the discussion by switching from one person to another---occasionally put in your viewpoint and experience.
- See that everyone is involved in the discussion.
- Ask appropriate questions. Should be brief, simple and clear, with only one possible interpretation.
- Provoke thought and test judgement.
- not merely test of memory, although recall is form of test
- question should never suggest the answer
- avoid question with 'yes' or 'no' answer
- question should not offer the choice between two possible answers, it only encourages them to guess
- question should keep in mind the end result of personal application
- ask questions like: who, what, why, when
- question in an organised way
- need to plan questions
- be ready with general questions e.g. "do the rest of you agree?", "what do you think it means", "can anyone think of any more ideas along this line", "what can we learn from this", "how does this apply to your daily life?"
- Seek to find unity of understanding before you move on to next question. Bring together their conclusions.
- Reach conclusions. Help objectify conclusions reached and summarise major conclusions, encourage application and evaluate and improve methods.
Questions Concerning Guided Discussion
1 How would you correct a wrong viewpoint in a discussion group?
2 Why do you summarize their conclusion?
3 Why is it important not to share your viewpoint first in a discussion? When should you share it?
4 What sort of questions should you ask?
5 What sort of questions should you avoid?
6 How do you create openness in a group?
7 What is the basic aim of your questions?
8 How do you get people to apply truth?
9 How do you draw out quiet people? How do you quiet loud ones?
10 How do you expound a question?
Questions Concerning Guided Discussion
1. How would you correct a wrong viewpoint in a discussion group?
- Allow group to correct it; draw it together.
- If group not successful, give scriptural basis at the end and conclude.
- Speak out that we may have differences of opinion.
2. Why do you summarize their conclusion?
- To bring to focus the principle or truth.
3. Why is it important not to share your viewpoint first in a group discussion? When should you share it? Share at end but discreetly. 4 What sort of questions should you ask?
- That require a lengthy answer.
- Thought provoking questions; What, Where, How, Why.
5. What sort of questions should you avoid?
- That which require a 'yes' or 'no' answer.
- True or false; two possible answers.
- Should not focus on debate or doctrinal but application of truth.
6. How do you create openness in a group?
- Individual counselling (encourage to share in small group).
- Don't push, must be willing.
- Be an example.
- Be on the alert to any need---ask to pray for them.
7. What is the basic aim of your questions?
- Test judgement; conviction.
- For applications sake.
- Make them think and become people of conviction.
- By application of truth---to be conformed to image of Christ.
8. How do you get people to apply truth?
- Ask general question "How can we apply this during our time at Holmsted?"
- One to one "How have you applied this or that teaching?"
- Make sure they understand.
- By discussion asking ones how to apply.
9. How do you draw out quiet people? How do you quiet loud ones?
- Volunteer quiet ones; be bold; often more well thought through; Need to see inverted pride perhaps---cheating others;
- Loud ones may need to be told privately or "just hold what you've got and we'll come to you later".
10. How do you expound a question?
- Have each one answer.
- Take direct lead "Do you agree with him.....etc"