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Philosophical Chairs

Philosophical Chairs

A communication strategy.

WHAT IT IS: a large-group debate-style discussion with the goal of openness to new ideas and supporting claims with evidence.

HOW IT WORKS: provide students with an agree/disagree statement as well as sentence stems for student responses. Students individually determine a response as well as reasoning. Split room by agree/disagree/undecided and have students move. Call on students to assert claims and provide reasoning. Encourage students to respond to previous claims and practice things like summarizing others’ comments. As the discussion unfolds, students move about the room if pertinent, sharing what convinced them to change an opinion. Be sure to end the discussion with individual written reflections.


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