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Provocative prompts protocol
This is one of our favorite protocols for text-based discussions in that it allows people who have read a text before-hand to engage side by side with others who just encountered the text minutes before beginning the discussion. The protocol uncovers different perspectives related to a text and promotes a commitment to understanding.
The purpose of the protocol is to infuse a conversation about a particular topic with a quick and contrasting set of viewpoints that the group members in a learning group can use to help elicit, shape, and reexamine their own perspectives and attitudes.
Group members select a quotation from the text read and write it at the top of a piece of paper. The group rotates around the table, reads each quote and makes a comment underneath each one. After everyone has responded to the quotes, one person volunteers to start the conversation by sharing his/her quote and explaining why he/she selected it. He/she can refer to comments made by others and the conversation unfolds from there. Others join in with their quotes as it makes sense to in the conversation. At the end of the exploration of the topic, participants can try to find one quote that each can connect to the expressions, “I used to think…” and “ Now I am thinking…”
Protocol adapted from : The Power of Protocols- An Educator’s Guide to Better Practice by Alan Dichter, Elizabeth C. McDonald, Joseph P. McDonald, and Nancy Mohr.