Discussion Principles

The Great Connections seminar is quite different than most you might attend. We have very few lectures; most of the time you will be expected to actively involved in discussion. You will be expected to read all the texts we are using in the seminar and abide by our special discussion principles.

We will be using a method of discussion that will significantly help you in learning to read and understand difficult texts or in any reading you later encounter. By doing the reading and the discussion work, you will learn how to reason excellently and apply what you learn to your life, in addition to learning much new information.

Students consistently applying this method have been measured to raise their cognitive skills by 20% to 85%.

After the seminar, you will receive a personal evaluation from the instructors; if you have participated well, you will also receive a completion certificate.

Here are our discussion principles:

a. Each participant must bring their reading packet to all sessions, come to all of the sessions, arrive on time, and stay during the discussion unless he or she has an emergency.

b. Each participant prepares for the seminars during his or her individual time.

c. Participants must ask questions of the text and each other.

d. Participants must cite the text to give evidence for their ideas and interpretations.

e. Participants should try to make connections to previous sessions and to their lives.

f. Each person takes responsibility for his or her own learning and for the quality of the conversation.

g. Each person recognizes that Reason is the only authority in the discussion, which means that each person must offer facts and logic for his or her arguments; no one, not even the instructor, is an authority.

h. Each person treats the other participants respectfully.