Often, lecturers starts with a brain-storming bubble on the board. Rather than beginning the lecture/session with brain-storming, end the lecture/session with a brain-storming exercise, where students BLOW up their ideas and questions about a concept- to be studied in next session.

For example, in a Classroom Teaching and Management course in the Bachelors of Education program, a teacher-educator may ask the student-teachers to BLOW their ideas about the topic called, ‘Critically Reflective Teacher’. The ideas BLOWN up may look like,


Subsequently, the students divide themselves in groups of 4-5 and take different aspects of the concepts for study in their self-study time.

The role of the facilitator is to probe the students to bring out more ideas on the board. The teacher may also suggest a reading for the students to develop their ideas, such as, in this case, the suggested reading was, Brookfield’s ‘Becoming a critically reflective teacher’[1].


The students in the groups reconvene by getting together in the next session to present their findings to the class, evidencing readings/ literature. After successfully explaining the concept in-front of the class, the students leave their original groups and make new-groups of 4-5, where each member has worked on a different question or aspect of the concept, and TIE the concepts together and depict it in the form of concept map. The class ends with a gallery-walk, where students display their findings using the concept map specifically explaining how the sub-concepts are connected/disconnected with each other and how it relates with the bigger concept. The map may look like this:

blowtie2Under Creative Commons License for Use without modification[2]

The role of the facilitator is to facilitate students in groups in developing the connections between sub-ideas and provide assistance in building connections, where required.

ccSubmitted by:
Zeenar Salim
Associate, Network of Teaching & Learning
Office of the Provost
Aga Khan University South-Central Asia, East Africa and UK

[1] Brookfield, S. (1995). Becoming a critically reflective teacher.  San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

[2] Brookfield #tli2012 Keynote: Becoming a Critically Reflect… | Flickr. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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