Socratic Seminar: Who is responsible for R&J's deaths?
What is Socratic Seminar?
••A teaching strategy to encourage students to engage in critical thinking, listening, communicating, and wonder
••A forum in which students determine the flow of classroom discussion and teacher serve as facilitators
••An atmosphere of intellectual engagement, cooperation, and conversation where students learn the difference between DIALOGUE and DEBATE
••The goal is not to answer questions, but to generate more questions
Socratic Seminar: The teacher’s role
••Facilitator, not director
••Teacher’s sole responsibility is to pose well thought out, open-ended questions
••The teacher gives no response, negative or positive, to the students’ discussion
••The teacher can pose more questions to “move” discussion from stalemate positions
Socratic Seminar: Guidelines
1.The group sits in a circle, allowing all participants to make eye contact.
2.Only students who have prepared for the seminar should participate in the discussion.
3.Silence is not a negative.
4.Allow discussion to flow on its own.
5.Mutual respect is a key to successful seminars.
6.One student speaks at a time.
7.Allow for post--seminar reflection time.
Socratic Seminar: The students’ responsibilities
••Being prepared for the seminar
••Directing the flow of the discussion within the seminar
••Determining the meaning of the seminar
••Constructing their own analysis of the seminar
••Utilizing critical thinking, listening, and communicating skills
••Respecting and honoring the opinions and voices of all other participants
Socratic Seminar: Suggested Rules
••Do not raise your hand during discussion.
••Do not interrupt another person. Begin speaking when he or she has finished.
••Be respectful of all participants’ opinions.
••Disagreement is fine. Do so in a respectful manner.
••Don’t direct your comments to the teacher––direct them to everyone.
••Support your opinions with evidence from the text.
••You must contribute 3 times--with a quote and citation.
••Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
••Remember… there’s no one “RIGHT ANSWER.
••You may be "paused" to allow other students a chance to participate, for getting off topic, or for not following the rules.