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Socratic Seminar, Session 1

Session 1 of a Workshop Series by Stephanie DeCosta & Tara Wood, Black Horse Pike Regional School District
by

Tara Wood

on 27 August 2014

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Transcript of Socratic Seminar, Session 1

Getting Students Engaged in the Big Ideas

What is it? How do I Introduce in the Classroom?

Socratic Seminar
Text:

The Pledge of Allegiance
Mini-Seminar
Prep-Work
:
Opening Question:
Socratic Seminar is a facilitated group dialogue about the ideas in a text.
What is Socratic Seminar?
the text
the opening question

the leader
the participants
The goal of a Seminar is to arrive at a shared, deeper understanding of the ideas within text.
What's the point of Socratic Seminar?
There are four main elements to Socratic Seminar:
The Text
Are there any resources for choosing text?
The Opening Question
What should it be about?
The Leader
Who is the leader?
The Participants
What are the responsibilities of the participants?
Covered in the next 2 sessions:
Suggestions for choosing text and samples of text for different subject areas
Strategies for generating an opening question for Socratic Seminar
Examples of how to design student prep work assignments
Procedures for running a Socratic Seminar
Suggestions for preparing students for participation in Socratic Seminar
Examples of effective questions for facilitating Socratic Seminar
Ways to build reflection into Socratic Seminar
Ideas for the assessment of a Seminar
Strategies for dealing with too-quiet or too-chatty students

What does a Socratic Seminar look like?
define "pledge," "allegiance," "republic," "nation," "indivisible," "liberty," and "justice."
read the texts carefully
How is
The Pledge of Allegiance
a duty, a dream, and a goal?
Respond to the following question in complete sentences. Be sure to reference the text directly in support of your response.
What kind of text?
How do I choose a text?

able to stimulate extended, thoughtful dialogue
A Seminar Text Should Be . . .
rich in ideas, issues and/or values
Seminar Texts Can be Drawn From . . .
readings in or connected to your content area

including:
literature, history, science, math, health, philosophy, art, music
* A good Seminar text raises important questions in the participants minds for which there are no right or wrong answers. *
* Content you teach
* Common Core Appendix
* Touchstones books
Who writes it?
How should it be formatted?
The Opening Question should . . .
* Be something the facilitator/leader is genuinely interested in/curious about.
* Lead the participants back to the text as they
speculate
,
evaluate
,
define
,
clarify
.
* The Opening Question should be posed by the leader.
* With more experience, participants can write and submit Opening Questions.
* Have no right answer.
* Engage participants in the bigger
ideas
or
values
in the text.
* Begin an evolving dialogue.
In the Opening Question . . .
* Remind participants to
refer back to the text
(use specific textual evidence)
* Avoid Yes/No questions; focus on
open-ended
inquiries
* Use the "big ideas"

- Be sure to post the question in the classroom and review it aloud with students. -
* Be specific

about what you want them to produce.
What are the responsibilities of the leader?
Until you and your class are comfortable with Socratic Seminar,
YOU
should be the Seminar leader.
Once your class is more experienced with Socratic Seminar, you could elect students to become leaders of Seminars.
Responsibilities of
the Leader
Who are the participants?
Your students! (and you!)
take away:
REFLECT!
take away:
Follow the Ground Rules
take away:
Prepare the TEXT
With smaller classes:
1 circle with a chair for every student & teacher
With larger classes:
2 circles (inner/outer)
Full transcript