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Introduction to Socratic Seminar for "The Giver"
Transcript of Introduction to Socratic Seminar for "The Giver"
1. Come prepared.
2. Don't raise hands.
3. Listen carefully.
4. Address one another respectfully.
The Socratic seminar is a formal discussion, based on a text, in which the leader asks open-ended questions. Within the context of the discussion, students listen closely to the comments of others, thinking critically for themselves, and articulate their own thoughts and their responses to the thoughts of others. They learn to work cooperatively and to question intelligently and civilly.
Socrates thought it was more important for
students to think for themselves than to merely
fill their heads with "right" answers. The seminar
is a method to try to understand information.
The seminar is a collaborative, open-ended dialogue
spurred by questions that encourage
critical thinking, deep reading, and active listening
The participants carry the burden of responsibility
for the quality of discussion. It is a discussion, not
Students sit in an inner and
outer circle. Only the inner
circle may speak, and they must
speak respectfully to one another.
1. Students need to build off of what each other
says. Using phrases like, "I agree with that because..." is a way to show that.
2. Speakers need to use a strong voice, sit up straight, maintain eye contact, and allow students to finish their thoughts.
3. There is no hand raising.
Students should reference the text in their
discussion. If a point is being made, it is
important to identify page or line number. That
is why it is so important to mark up the text with thinking so that it is easy to find what you want to talk about.
In order to participate, students MUST prepare for
the seminar. Those who do not have the required questions answered will sit in the outer circle and be responsible for taking notes on the entire discussion.
Watch the following video clip example. Look
for evidence of the rules and guidelines of a Socratic Seminar. Jot down things that you see the students doing that are "good" as well as things that are "bad". Be prepared to discuss your ideas with the class.
What were some of the "good" things the students were doing? What were some "bad" things?