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The "You, Y’all, We" Approach to Class Discussion


The typical approach to class discussion begins with the instructor who:


  1. I: first explains a concept or demonstrates something and then
  2. WE: turns it over to the class to try a similar problem (or a follow-up question)
  3. YOU: finally each student works on their own (either in class or in homework)

This is the "I, WE, YOU" approach.


Try flipping this on it's head with the "You, Y'all, We" approach.


Here's how it's described in the book College Teaching by Norman Eng:


  1. YOU: "the teacher presents a dilemma or situation for students to grapple with individually.  This allows them to think first without peer influence.
  2. Y'ALL: They then work together in pairs or groups to come up with a solution or explanation
  3. WE: Finally, the teacher brings the class together to share and discuss their answers and reasoning"


Eng, N. (2017). Teaching college: The ultimate guide to lecturing, presenting, and engaging students. New York: Norman Eng.