#75 Fishbowl method

Time needed: 10-15 min

Why? Fish Bowl is a way of leading a discussion in large groups. The method is named after the seating arrangement: it looks like a goldfish bowl, two circles of participants sitting around each other.

When? In the Fishbowl Method discusses a small group of participants of the plenum of the inner circle (in the “goldfish bowl”) exemplifies the theme, while the other participants observe in an outer circle of the discussion. Would like to contribute a participant from the outer circle for discussion, he can exchange with a member of the inner circle of the courts. The work of the inner circle can be discussed at the end with the entire group. The Fishbowl method can also be carried out with a discussion of moderation in the moderation is a constant part of the inner circle.

How?  Each participant in the discussion group is allowed to leave it at any time. If “tapped” a participant, he can finish his thought, and then leaves the discussion group. Blank spaces in the discussion group can – but need not – be filled by each participant.

Any risks? The main advantage is that the discussion is clearer, as more and can discuss only a small number of subscribers simultaneously. Topics to be focused and thus compacted. Members who are not otherwise able to speak, go into the inner circle and get there quickly to turn to express their opinion. A participant who has no desire to get off and just listen. The method lends itself also to show dominance relationships: Intrusive participants must constantly go back into the inner circle.  Avoid side conversations.




  1. Online Fishbowls – Instructional Strategies Blog - […] is typically completed (for those interested, they can find a very clear set of instructions here). With a fishbowl…

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