Round Table Teaching

Round Table Teaching (RTT) is a type of ‘Action Learning’ that makes students ask question to their professors instead of the other way around.
It is based on the ideas of a.o. Matthew Lipman, expressed in his book Thinking in Education, 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press, 2003.
In a few words he says: “We should not learn students to answer questions in any exam, but we must train them in asking questions instead. Because you can only ask good quality questions, when you understand the subject.”

In RTT we don’t use any blackboards, beamers, whiteboards, flipovers etc.

We just sit in, students ask questions they feel are related to the subject, and the expert ‘tells the kids how he did it.’

Experience learns that RTT classes require some practical rules to be successful.

  1. Students have to hand in a questionnaire of 5 questions minimum about the subject involved at least one day prior to the RTT session.
  2. All questionnaires have to qualify as sufficient, before students can participate in the exam. This is to make sure they prepare the classes properly of course.
  3. It is advised to limit the number of students in an RTT to 12 (=3×4).
  4. This might be increased to 24 when a ‘second row’ is used. Midterm the session row one and two switch places.
  5. An RTT should be limited to 2 x 45/50 minutes maximum.

A schematic drawing of the layout could look like this:

N O B L A C K B O A R D / B E A M E R / W H I T E B O A R D / F L I P O V E R