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Socratic Method Workshop

Training Teachers
by

Miriam Chin

on 16 June 2014

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Transcript of Socratic Method Workshop

By Miriam Chin *How do you define someone as an educated person? So why is our nation moving away from excellence in education? Why has there been such a shift from long-held morals and values? Socratic Method Workshop World class leaders with high moral standards Good Moral Teaching and examples Great Academic Education Family and Community With all the educational opportunities available to us, our leaders should be setting the bar intellectually and morally. 88% of students think school is boring 49.6% of adults at low literacy level only 19% of adults at high literacy rate 68% of 8th graders can't read at grade level, and most will never catch up General statistic of our youth 3 Main Stages of Learning for every child: Grammar Stages Logic Stages Rhetoric Stages 1st-4th grade 9th grade and on 5th-8th grade Children at this age are like a Giant Sponge

They find memorization fun and express interest in lots of new facts

At this age they naturally ask a lot of questions Less interested in facts than in asking "why?"

Students begin to apply logic to all academic subjects

Abstract thinking begins to mature at this age The ability to communicate thoughts and ideas becomes more pronounced and clear Grammar + Logic = Intelligent
Stage Stage Communication If the Logic Stage has gone well, this is the time when the students learn to write and speak their thoughts with force and originality.

By this time they have the ability to probe deeper and refine their own questions through clear logical communication processes. If all 3 stages are properly excuted,
the way they think should look like But instead, most of our kids seem to think like this ? Purpose of Socratic Method "The Socratic professor aims for 'productive discomfort,' not panic and intimidation."
The aim is not to strike fear in the hearts of students just so that they come prepared to class;
the aim is to encourage students to clearly articulate the values that guide their lives, and that their values and beliefs should withstand scrutiny when challenged. It forces students to assess whether what they learn is true or false and to be accountable for their reasoning through facts and logic. As Teachers we can't do the thinking for them, but we could guide/assist them. *What kinds of problems have you encountered with students' getting frustrated about having to think for themselves? vs Copy what I do method Socratic Method What is the Socratic Method? Keeps students' minds engaged by reaching higher level of thinking. Example the U.S. Government class from an elementary class. Watch how this fourth-grade teacher uses a line of questioning in a structured, text-based discussion to help students recognize important elements and themes in a piece of art. It's Your turn! Teacher:

1. Set conversational guidelines

2. Discuss content or topic

3. Promote the first questions *Why is there such "disconnect" between what they learn and how they think? 35% of students dislike school Which method would you prefer for your students? Periodically summarizes ideas/thoughts to help guide students to dig deeper into topics/ideas Thought-provoking questions (Not interrogation or debate) Uses "asking and answering" to examine the values, principes and beliefs of students Together looking for the best solution and, more importantly, WHY Holds students accountable on what they know rather than their ability to regurgitate

NO rote memorization Students practice respectful interaction and discussion on any topic maturely and openly 1. Student responds with the first point.

2. 2nd Student will either add in or disagree with the first point and follow with explanation. Teacher:

1. Summarize the first couple of points.

2. After summary, refine the questions or ideas. Do not attempt to answer their questions right away! Welcome the "crazy idea" that offers a new perspective on the topic.

Discourage those ideas which are not serious. Keep the discussion FOCUSED on the subject matter and intellectually responsible Teacher:

Link the multiple concepts/points together.

Summarize what has been addressed and/or resolved. Students are too practiced at "doing school" and discovering what they need to know just to get by the next test.
Don't let them learn just "enough" to get by. This is IMPORTANT because Students:

Continue discussion

Go home but feel challenged to continue pondering the points Socratic Method uses respect as a cornerstone and serves as a great foundation for essay writing and understanding texts. Instead students have become lazy in their thinking and tend to manipulate the adult to do the thinking for them. 1. Don't talk over others.
2. Listen to each other.
3. Participation is required! (No silence)
4. It's a discussion for learning, not debate.
5. No single comment as a response. Prior to discussion, teacher should:
Know the information well.
Prepare intelligent questions before class.
Prepare a guide of where you want to lead the discussion and plan your questions accordingly. Don't be a sage on the stage, or guide on the side.
Be willing to say, "I don't know the answer to that question." NO speeches or long lectures Brevity and short intervention from the teacher are most welcome.

Periodically summarize what has been and what has not been addressed and/or resolved. Students:

1. Respond or continue with more points and ideas

2. Begin to discuss

3. Propose questions

4. Explain confusing concepts to each other

5. Continue discussion and teach/learn from each other Do not give correction even if the answer is wrong. Stimulate the discussion with probing questions

Ask questions that begin with "Why?" "How?" or "What is the meaning of?"... Ask the questions in several different ways for comprehension.
Be comfortable with silence. Do NOT fill the silence with a conversational void; silence creates a kind of helpful tension--> "Productive Discomfort" Do not ask, "What would you do next?" Calling on someone in a non-threatening way tends to activate others who might otherwise remain silent.

Encourage students to support their ideas. Do NOT ask "yes" or "no" questions!!

If necessary to ask "yes or no" questions--> always use follow up questions. Because these kinds of prompts promote memorization rather than the logical thinking process. Follow up questions:
"Why?"
"What's the reason you chose that answer?"
"Why does that make sense to you?"
"What does it mean to you?" It's YOUR turn!
Let's Practice :) How Socratic Method Works
and the important components? If the discussion is going off the topic Challenge more probing thoughts--> either more in depth or as a lead-in into your next lesson. *Do you have any questions or comments? Ask the student to prove or explain the answer that they came up with?-->"WHY" Do not let the students regurgitate answers from readings and lectures.-->Again hold them accountable! Start Conclusion During So where did we get off track? What went wrong? How can we as educators effect the change we want and need in this country? Let's review :) They begin to pay attention to cause and effect by using logic

Student also begin to pay attention to the relationship between different fields of knowledge and to the way facts fit together in a logical framework The "AH HA" moments are absolutely priceless, because of their ability to connect ideas Wait for students to respond--> "10 sec wait" rule before attempt to re-phrase your questions! If student does not respond right away. Form into your group according to subjects

5 minutes to discuss the topics from handout

1 person is a teacher

1 ill-prepared student

2 well-prepared students

Or anyway you like it

Perform and evaluate by peers www.miriamchin.com Who is Socrates? Socrates was a Greek philosopher.
He was a teacher and a lover of wine and conversation.
His famous student, Plato, called him "the wisest, and justest, and best of all men whom I have ever known" (Phaedo). Philosophy, the love of wisdom, was for Socrates itself a sacred path, a holy quest -- not a game to be taken lightly. He believed -- or at least said he did in the dialog Meno -- we have unfortunately lose touch with that knowledge at every birth, and so we need to be reminded of what we already know (rather than learning something new). Socrates himself never wrote any of his ideas down, but rather engaged his students in endless conversation.

Plato, his famous students, reconstructed these discussions in a great set of writings known as the Dialogs.

It is difficult to distinguish what is Socrates and what is Plato in these dialogs. But the idea originated from Socrates. What was Socrates' philosophy? Why is Socratic method name after Socrates? 44% of dropouts under age 24 are jobless More than 1.2 million students drop out of school every year. -->That's one every 26 seconds. American students vs Students in other countries Even America's top math students rank 25th out of 30 countries when compared with top students elsewhere in the world. American students rank 25th in math and 21st in science out of 30 industrialized countries. By the end of 8th grade, U.S. students are two years behind in the math compare to peers in other countries. *Examples of "disconnect"?
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