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The art of the socratic seminar

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Megan Poindexter

on 5 November 2017

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Transcript of The art of the socratic seminar

We will be conducting a Socratic Seminar with the question: What defines the modern America dream?

That said, using the knowledge you have on seminars please find a current article that relates to the idea of the American dream.
Purpose of the seminar
Seating Arrangement
Each student is assigned a partner
One person on the inside circle (speaker) and the other in the outside circle (evaluator/coach)
Inside circle engages in the dialectic conversation
Outside circle observes
Inside Circle Norms
1. One person speaks at a time, but there is no raising hands. Speak when you are ready.
2. Everyone contributes ideas. No one dominates or withdraws.
3. Use transitions to connect comments.
4. Invite others into the discussion artfully.
5. Agree/disagree with ideas, not people.
6. Ask clarifying questions.
7. Support a point with evidence from the text.
8. Use body language and eye contact to communicate active listening.
9. Stay in a posture of humility, intellectual flexibility, and curiosity.
10. Speak loud enough for everyone to hear you.
Outside Circle Norms
No talking
Active listeners
Active evaluators
Respectful to the conversation going on
Copy and paste the URL below to your Web browser. Watch this video and list the roles discussed. Draw out how you understand the seminar time structure and list three features of a successful seminar.
Please note:
I will check to make sure you complete all of the above. This will be one of the ways to receive full credit for your notes.
Socratic Seminar
Miss Poindexter
English 9

identify the purpose of the seminar
determine key features of a seminar
develop three seminar questions
not to find the "right" answer, but develop deeper understanding
explore different ideas through dialogue with others
engage in communication and group thinking
apply learning to an academic conversation
General Evaluator
sits on the outside circle
complete the evaluation form/notes forthe partner
acts as a "coach"
at halftime coaches by:
sharing strengths and area for growth
giving in-depth inferences and connections
provide specific examples for improvement
uses the white board
bullets the major points or ideas for everyone to see
summarize the discussion after each half
offers suggestions and affirms good things
Big Board
engage in the academic conversation
uses academic transitions
offers relevant comments and evidence
accepts coaching at half-time
Please note:
Since our class is still learning how to conduct a seminar we will not yet use the roles of comment counter, transition tracker, and quote tracker.
Speakers should use academic transitions.
Check out the documents here to see examples....
Full transcript