This week our book circles adopted a Round Robin format. The entire group sat in a circle so all were visible to each other. This arrangement is designed so each members can carefully speak and listen to each other. One member volunteered to be a note-taker and another member volunteered to be the “Coordinator.” The “Coordinator” helped to keep members focused, provided structure for deep conversation and prompted wise outcomes. The other group members used their notes while participating in the dialogue.
One group member began the circle discussion with a statement that began with “I learned,” “I realized,” or “I now know” and shared something from the assigned reading that spoke to them.
Our “Coordinator” encouraged refraining from evaluative statements such as “I think,” “I feel,” “I believe.”
When Group Member 1 was done, attention turned to his or her left. This next member then either added on to GM 1’s statement, or began a new statement of what he/she learned.
Discussion continued in this fashion until every member had spoken at least twice. Members had the option to “pass” one turn until later.
The circle provided a way for us to engage in critical thinking and reflection and to apply what we had read, through discussion, to wise outcomes for the families that we serve. Collaboration is at the heart of this approach. When the discussion concluded, our note-taker recorded a summary of the meeting.