Creative Discussion using Plain Pair Groups

Creative Discussion – a key to insight and change

William Plain
Emeritus Professor, Nagoya University of Foreign Studies

Plain Pair Group Teaching (Plain PGT)
- for universities and schools
Plain Pair Group Discussion (Plain PGD)
- for decision making and staff development
- for informal or community creative discussion

A flash of insight is the spark of cosmic intelligence.
Small group sharing of insight can change the pattern of human intelligence. &

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Campus Creative Discussion

Discussion groups meeting outside of class for serious discussion in the foreign language or in Japanese to develop language fluency, knowledge and creativity.

Related Projects

Campus Creative Discussion (completed 3 years)
Campus Creative Discussion(3年間で完成)

Students meet (without a teacher) for small group (‘academic’) discussion in English once a week. Some 60 groups have been meeting regularly.
学生は教員を含まずに少人数で、1週間に1度、英語で(学問的に)話し合う。 約60グループがこれまでに定期的に会っている。

Participation: 1/2/3/4 Year students from several departments, graduate school and overseas exchange students.

Has been extended to ‘academic Japanese’ and possible future expansion to French and Chinese.

Promoting enrolment in NUFS graduate courses (1 year)

Participation in Campus Creative Discussion by graduate students gives high performing undergraduate students an ‘inside view’ of postgraduate study.
大学院生のCampus Creative Discussionへの参加は、レベルの高い学部生に、大学院での研究の「内面」を見せることができる。

Preparation for overseas study (1 year)
海外研修の準備(1年 )

Study tour students join Campus Creative Discussion groups for a period prior to departure.
海外研修参加者が、出発までの間Campus Creative Discussionに参加する。

Can be expanded to exchange student programmes. (proposal)

Portfolio of personal endeavour for job hunting

Autonomous participation in Campus Creative Discussion over four years, with personal research, presentations and discussion in two languages, can form a valuable ‘portfolio’ for inclusion in each student’s employment CV.
2言語を使った、個人的な調査、発表、そして議論をしながら、Campus Creative Discussionに4年間自発的に参加することで、学生は、自身の就職のための履歴書も含む貴重な「ポートフォリオ」を作成できるようになる。

Peer Faculty Development (has been trialled in the English Department)
Peer Faculty Development (英米語学科で試行済み)

Suggestions for university reform by department members were discussed using the Plain Pair Group method (a number of ideas discussed have since been successfully implemented).
大学改革のために、学科のメンバーの中でなされた提案は、Plain Pair Groupの手法を使って話し合われた。(そのうちの多くが実行され成功した)

Informal faculty development: “Creative Discussion using Plain Pair Groups” can be used for informal small-group academic discussion by teachers in a similar manner to student discussion groups. It is expected that widespread use of informal meetings, e.g. during lunchtime, could very significantly increase the exchange of ideas concerning teaching and academic knowledge throughout the whole university. This could be easily promoted with very little expense by offering enticing facilities and (possibly free?) bento lunch.

Peer Faculty Development can be used in curriculum development meetings within a department or large faculty development seminars. This method has been used successfully for seminars or conferences with up to 200 participants.  (proposal)
ピア ファカルティ ディべロップメントは、学科あるいは学部の発展セミナー内で行われるカリキュラム改訂のための会合でも用いることができる。この方法は、参加者が200人までのセミナーや会議で成功してきている。

Corporate Creative Discussion (proposal)
Corporate Creative Discussion (提案)

The creative potential of university staff members could be tapped through a process of ‘horizontal’ (peers) and ‘vertical’ (across hierarchy) discussion groups – “corporate consciousness raising”.


The above projects are based on educational principles developed through 2 Monkasho funded research projects over 4 years at NUFS and 3 years at the University of Tsukuba. (research report in NUFS library). See “Abstract of Research Project” in this “package”.
上記のプロジェクトは文部科学省の補助を受けたNFUSでの4年間の研究と、筑波大学での3年間の研究で進化した教育上の本質に基づいている。(研究レポートはNUFS図書館に所蔵)。この「小冊子」内の「Research Projectの要旨」を参照。

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Recognition and remuneration


© William Plain  1990-2023 (print); 2005 - 2023 (website)