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Socratic Seminar

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Eric Williams

on 13 August 2013

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Transcript of Socratic Seminar

Socratic Seminar
Read and Annotate
Each student will read the provided text and question the thoughts presented. Make notes on anything that stands out to you as important to the text OR things you question within the text.
Craft a Question
In order to participate in the seminar discussion, each student must annotate their text. If you have not done the annotation you will need to be an active listener.

Create one question that you might use to enhance the conversation.
The Cold War Was Neither Cold Nor a War. Discuss.
I will facilitate the discussion, but the seminar is focused on students responding to student-posed questions and building upon those various answers.

The discussion belongs to you!
Exhale and Debrief
How did the discussion go?

What new information did you learn from the discussion?
1. Participants respect one another. All ideas are honored and respected. It is okay to disagree with your classmates.

2. Participants are active learners. They build upon one another's ideas by referencing them and adding new thoughts or ideas.

3. Participants stay focused on the topic. The teacher-facilitator may re-center the discussion on topic.

4. Participants make specific references to the text and use examples from the text to explain their points.

5. Participants ask for clarification. They ask questions to make sure they understand the points that other participants are trying to make.
Socratic Seminar Rules
Socratic Seminars are strategies used to promote higher level thinking skills, the ability to engage in dialogue with others, the ability to reference specific evidence from the text, and expound upon the ideas of others.

Each student has an active role in a Socratic Seminar, whether it is processing the question, articulating a response or listening attentively to someone else's position.

The teacher is the facilitator, but the discussion is driven by the students.
Participants will be critiqued on the following criteria:
Respond to comments respectfully
Listening attentively without interruption
Make eye contact with others
Exhibit adequate preparation
Cites text to support responses
Active participant in the discussion
Observers will be assigned a participant or several participants to observe and critique them filling out a checklist.

Following the discussion, observers can provide feedback to the participants on content, contributions and group skills.
Alternate Approach
The discussion is comprised of an inner and outer circle.
The inner circle participates in the discussion according to the rules and debriefs after the set amount of time.
The outer circle evaluates the participation of the inner circle and provides feedback after the discussion is over.
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