Are you looking for a way to encourage interaction and collaboration in your classroom? In this article you will learn about a method called World Café.
The World Café is a method for creating a collaborative learning conversation around questions that matter to you and your students. World Café is a great way of sharing knowledge, generating ideas, and constructing dialogues with both large and small groups (either students or adults).
Consider all the learning that occurs as students move from table to table in your classroom, carrying insights and ideas from one conversation to another about the certain topic, project idea, reflection of the hour, managing conflict, etc. The invisible connections among these conversations and the actions that emerge from them can help you to build more engaged and passionate learners.
With participation in the world Café, students practice also wide range of social capital skills such as:
- working in a team,
- active listening and discussing diverse ideas,
- building a collective diagram or model,
- managing time,
- taking a leadership role,
- putting abstract ideas into visual model,
- framing powerful learning questions and peer learning and coaching.
The Café format is very flexible and adapts to many different purposes, information sharing, relationship building, deep reflection, skill building, project planning.
The basic model of the method consists of:
- Setting: prepare a cosy and welcoming environment for the participants to feel safe and engaged. Small round tables with flip chart paper, markers. Something small to bite, can make a big difference.
- Welcome and Introduction: make the participants of the world cafe feel welcome and safe with an introduction, setting the context of your World Café.
- Small Group Rounds: process starts with the first of three twenty minute rounds of conversation for the small group seated around a table. At the end of the twenty minutes, each member of the group moves to a different new table. They may or may not choose to leave one person as the “table host” for the next round, who welcomes the next group and briefly fills them in on what happened in the previous round.
- Questions: are one of the most important contents of the World Café. Choosing a powerful question that starts the process is very important, so take your time with it.
- Harvest: after all the rounds of conversations, the groups are welcomed to share their insights and reflect on the whole process. They can use the flip chart paper or use some new innovative method they are up for.
The basics of the method are really easy to grasp and learn. However the details, like what are powerful questions to start the process, how to make the harvest and so on that can really make a difference.
Would you like to experience the method and learn more about how to use it in your everyday school practice?
Join our course Learner voice: engage students in participative and collaborative learning, where you will have the opportunity to learn and practice methods along with colleagues from all over EU.
Some of the methods also presented will be Circle, Open Space and Appreciative Inquiry.
First opportunity is already in December 2019. Don’t miss it and apply now!
Here are some of the testimonies from or participants that have already attended the course. Published on the SchoolEducationGateway page:
Author: Petra Založnik, BSc in Teacher Education and Sociology of Culture, is educator, evaluator and designer of innovative approaches to learning and teaching in the field of education, also our trainer in the course Learner voice: engage students in participative and collaborative learning