Focused Conversations for Schools

The Art of Focused Conversation for Schools describes a questioning method for facilitating classroom (or faculty meeting) discussions.  I found the book pretty light-weight. It only takes a few pages to describe the method, which revolves around four levels of questioning: objective, reflective, interpretive, and decisional.  Most of the book’s pages provide detailed templates of “focused conversations”.  I found these semi-scripted “conversations” of dubious value.   The questioning method itself seems sound.  I think that it’s simplicity (only 4 levels of questioning to remember) gives it some advantage over other questioning methods that I’ve been exposed to.

My mindmap of Focused Conversations for Schools

My mindmap of Focused Conversations for Schools

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About Kimberly McCollum

I'm a former middle and high school science teacher and current stay at home mom.
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2 Responses to Focused Conversations for Schools

  1. sarajoypond says:

    Very interesting…and I think your mindmap just saved me at least a couple of hours reading the book 🙂
    Funny story: the other day in my Third World Development class, a top organizational behaviorist/advocate of action research [who also serves on the board of directors for at least a dozen NGOs] came in as a guest speaker and started off by passing out the to class a tabloid-sheet mindmap of the role of action research in international development work. The whole class was dumbfounded, and utterly confused by the lack of linear outlining and power point slides. It really threw the discussion into a much more open, associative, creative space. Fascinating!

  2. I probably saved you an hour or less, the book is pretty light-weight 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your experience with mindmaps in the classroom. By nature, I’m a pretty linear-sequential thinking. I’ve been playing with mindmaps to force myself to expand. I’m not sure if it’s working yet. I’d love your feedback on any of the mindmaps that I produce, have produced, or will produce.

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