Speak for Team

Context: You plan or teach classes with Groups Work where Students Interact and Construct Knowledge, and want to maximize student engagement and learning.


Forces & Problem: In many classes, a few students dominate the discussion, and many students are often silent or reluctant to speak. There are multiple reasons for this. In a lecture-style class, students might be passive and not really try to form their own answers or questions. The teacher might not allow enough time for students to think. Students might be afraid to give a wrong answer, or ask a question that other students consider foolish. As a result, a Considerate Lecturer who tries to Honor Questions might only hear from a subset of students, and thus have an inaccurate view of the class.


Solution & Consequences: Therefore, have students ask or answer questions on behalf of their team. If the team discusses and agrees on an answer, it is more likely to be correct. If a team discusses a question and is unable to resolve it, the question will likely be of interest to other students too.

Discussion: Speak for Team is related to Think…Pair…Share; it often helps to have each student think on their own for minute or two, then discuss with their team, and then share with the class. Having one member Speak for Team makes it clear that the answer or insight is from the team, and if you Rotate Team Roles then every student will have the opportunity (and responsibility) to Speak for Team. With Speak for Team, you must allow enough time for students to form their own answers and discuss with teammates, which improves learning.

Examples: See Report Out for possible ways that one student can Speak for Team.

Author: Clif Kussmaul

Publication: C Kussmaul. 2017. Patterns in classroom facilitation for Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL). HILLSIDE Proc. of Noridc Conf. on Pattern Lang. of Programs. 17. (Mar-Apr 2017)

Contributors to this page: Clif Kussmaul .
Page last modified on Sat November 11, 2017 14:04:50 EST by Clif Kussmaul. (Version 2)