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Socratic Seminar is a way to have a structured class discussion about a reading assignment or other topic of interest. The concept is based on Socrates' teaching methods and is an effective way to engage all students and to encourage multiple perspectives in a respectful environment. I use the following items in many of my Language Arts Classes to introduce the concepts of the Socratic Seminar, to execute the seminars, and to rate students' work. These materials can be easily adapted to fit other content areas.
This resource is part of the English 10 course.
This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2008-09-21.
Just like the other resources in this author's collection, this is a high quality resource that can be used without major modification. The fact that a high school resource can be so easily modified for younger children speaks to its quality.
These documents and instructions give great guidance to discussion participants about some of the essential elements of Socratic Seminars: utilizing the text to support ideas and perspectives; conducting the discussion as a dialogue, not a debate, among participants; and developing questions that demonstrate analysis, synthesis, and evaluation over comprehension.
With some modifications, these materials would also be appropriate for classes at the middle school level.
I work at an elementary school that embraces Socratic teaching. I am excited to adapt this protocol for use with younger students. I especially like the part where students reflect on the actions that make them an effective participant in the discussion (post evaluation).