Reflection: Student Ownership Socratic Seminar Two Preparation - Section 2: Socratic Seminar Preparation Review


The Socratic Seminar is far from a pristine procedure anymore, if ever it was.  Most teachers customize the format to fit the needs of their students, as I most certainly have.

One aspect I do try to maintain, however, one that may be keeping Socrates from rolling over in his grave, is the nature of the student-directed seminar.  As tempting as it may be at times to interject, to redirect, to further question, I do my very best to remain silent, outside of the circle, and allow my students to dictate the ebb and flow of their dialoguing (if I do have to insert myself, I let them know up front that this indicates that the seminar is going off the rails, and that I've had to step in, as referee--not a good thing, I remind them).

I'm the first to admit that it's no easy task for me to keep quiet in class, especially with the literature I assign my students for their Socratic Seminars; most of the time I've chosen it because I love it, and so to keep quiet about it is a challenge.  What I love just as much, though, is witnessing my students fly on their own in a seminar, questioning each other, offering their ideas to one another, taking risks with their connections and interpretations.  And all the while seeking eye contact with each other and not the teacher.  They are not performing.  They are dialoguing, with each other.

Like intellectuals.

  The Myriad Applications of the Socratic Seminar
  Student Ownership: The Myriad Applications of the Socratic Seminar
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Socratic Seminar Two Preparation

Unit 8: Of Mice and Men Part II
Lesson 3 of 9

Objective: SWBAT review the guidelines and requirements for conducting a Socratic Seminar and practice creating appropriate seminar questions as a whole group.

Big Idea: Equipping students with reading materials and challenging them to find the connections.

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