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Socratic Seminar

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Richelle Ralston

on 22 September 2014

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Transcript of Socratic Seminar

Background Information
The Idea Socratic Seminar comes from a dialogue of Plato entitled "Meno."
The character Meno asks whether virtue can be taught.
This leads Socrates to suggest that no idea can be taught directly.
He suggests all that we know must be extracted from us through a series of questions and a process of inquiry.
Socratic Seminar
According to Socrates, the job of a teacher is to help the learner collect his or her thoughts to build new understanding from prior knowledge.
Socratic Seminar has evolved to present time to focus on open-ended controversial questions.
This model is designed to help students examine ideas through different perspectives and reach a deeper understanding.
Socratic seminars are applicable in all content areas and grade levels.
How to authentically assess
Students can assess their own performance in a Socratic seminar by asking themselves several different questions...
Did I speak clearly so everyone could hear me?
Did I cite reasons for my comments?
Did I listen to others respectfully?
was I prepared for the seminar?
How Students Develop

Class Dojo
Meeting the needs of all learners.
Texts to benefit diverse learners
Texts to benefit all learners
Mixture of abilities
Planning Questions
Oral language, presentation, and reasoning skills
Critical thinking
Active members of a community
Become more accepting of others ideas as well as state their own when a disagreement is presented
Creates a community of interactive learners
Practice metacognitive thought
Socratic Seminar Rubrics. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2014.
Socratic Circle Teacher Observations (Summary). (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2014.
Thomas H. Estes, S. L. (2010). Instruction: A Models Approach 6th Edition . Pearson.
Multiple Content Areas
Reading-Interpretations of books
Language Arts-How to create a good story
Social Studies- First Presidents
Science- Pluto
Math-Math Strategies
Music-What does this song express?
Art-What does this mean?
Socratic Seminar
Richelle Ralston
Carly Blocker
Structure of a Socratic Seminar
A Socratic Seminar place students in a circle with a teacher to engage in a dialogue.
The teacher can facilitate the questions or ideas being discussed.
The inner circle consist of students who will be engaging in discussion.
The outer circle consist of students who will be listening to or taking notes of what the inner circle is discussing.
Teachers can use rubrics to assess a student's overall performance.
There are two different categories teachers can use to evaluate a student's performance.
Demonstrates listening skills
utilizes the contribution of other in response
keeps up with conversation flow
politlely points out gaps of understanding, evidence, logic
ignores distractions
Demonstrates careful reading and thought through familiarity with the text or content
identifies main ideas, contradictions, and accurate vocabulary
has annotated personal copy of the text that allows the participant frequently to refer to specific parts of a text
Implementing the Socratic Seminar in Your Classroom
Choose the text (written, visual, or audio) - read or provide the material needed.
Plan and cluster several questions of varying cognitive demand- questions should be able to reach the student's readiness and knowledge.
Introduce the model to the students- Explain the benefits of the Socratic Seminar and introduce the expectations of the students.
Conduct the Discussion- facilitate the discussion using a non-directive role as much as possible.
Review and Summarize the Discussion- review major points made in the discussion.
Evaluate the discussion with student- students will self evaluate personal behavior and teacher can grade through rubric or checklists.
(Thomas H. Estes, 2010)
(Thomas H. Estes, 2010)
(Thomas H. Estes, 2010)
(Thomas H. Estes, 2010)
(Thomas H. Estes, 2010)
(Thomas H. Estes, 2010)
Your Turn!
Would the Socratic Seminar model be successful in a math setting?
How would you address students who are being dominant speakers and those who are not participating?
How could you implement Socratic seminar in your current placement?
Do you think this model would be successful or useful in your classroom?
Socratic Seminar
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