The objective of a Socratic Seminar is to achieve a deeper understanding about the ideas and values in a text. In the Seminar, participants systematically question and examine issues and principles related to a particular content, and articulate different points-of-view.
- It helps develop critical thinking skills.
- It trains students to think quickly.
- It makes it necessary for students to be prepared and attentive.
This learning activity will work best in a learning environment where students are comfortable to speak in public. Read more about #community activities.
1: Prepare students with expectations for participation before the seminar.
2: Provide students with seminar questions in advance. Offer a mix of required and optional seminar questions.
3: Open the seminar with a round robin question, a sequence or series that involves the participation of everyone in a group.
4: Get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
5: Facilitate, don’t dominate.
6: Allow time for reflection after the seminar:
- What did you find most interesting about today’s seminar?
- What did you find most surprising?
- Did anything make you change your mind or think more deeply? What, how, and why/why not?
- What did you contribute to today’s seminar? Be specific.
- What might you do differently at our next seminar? Be specific.