The Elegance of the 30/30 RoundTable

The 30/30 RoundTable is elegant–defined as simple and ingenious.   It is simple because it is cued by a one-page script or RoundTable guide.   It is ingenious because it is user-friendly and systemic: It serves the whole school without being a burden added to staff’s heavy workloads.  Specifically, it:

  • serves everyone in schools in their already existing groups–weekly in classrooms, monthly in meetings (faculty, PTA, district, etc.),
  • lets each group use topics for their own purposes,
  • is adaptable as groups’ purposes change or evolve,
  • allows participants to hear 30 viewpoints in 30 minutes around subjects important to them.

Figure 1 illustrates. Click to corresponding guides on this website: (i.e., intro, sciencefaculty).


What Educators Say about the RoundTable

“I am so excited about the RoundTable. I tried it in my class with undergraduates in their internship. It went so well.  I even had two students come to me privately and tell me how much they appreciated that way of dealing with curriculum.”  PEGGY GILL, Professor of Educational Leadership, University of Texas at Tyler

“The RoundTable made space for people to connect … in a way that no amount of free time, meal breaks, or presentation question periods seemed to do. To the question I often ask myself, ‘Is there anyone else out there?’ The RoundTable gave me a definitive ‘Yes!’ What a joy and relief!”  PAMELA BUCKLE HENNING, Associate Professor of Management, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York

“It speeds up the cumulative learning needed for effective action plans.”  SHARON PETERSON, Consultant, Small Business Development Center, Hawthorne, California

What 4th Grade Students Say about the RoundTable

“I was proud my literature got better just by doing [the Roundtable)]. I like myself better because I know now that I could find the little details instead of like the bigger, easier to find details.”

“What I like about the RoundTable is that everybody gets a turn to say something and everyone else is listening and quiet when you talk.”

“Well, I learned more to express how I feel about something and not to be that scared in front of people because I was really shy … now I’m not shy and it made me express more of my feelings. Now since I’ve done the Roundtable a lot, it’s helped me like overcome my fears. It’s helped me a lot.”

“… getting into the middle [of the year] I started actually saying what was deep down inside.”

Even Simpler!

The 30/30 RoundTable has been used in several 4th grade classrooms for 14 years. A circle is proposed, but we have learned that it works even without changing the room set up (Figure 2).   This makes it even easier to use!


Use the RoundTable and let me know how it works for you!  Use it at your school: weekly in your classroom, monthly in meetings–faculty. PTA, and so forth,  Use it monthly at the district level and higher: in principals’ meetings, superintendents’ meetings and state or federal policy making meetings.  Use it daily in annual conferences or summer staff development.


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