Tagged How to implement a Socratic Discussion

Q and A: Socratic Seminar on Civil Discourse

On October 26, I hosted a workshop for teachers who wanted to learn more about implementing Socratic discussion into their classroom.  More on that here.  

They left questions on their exit tickets.  See my responses below. 

Do you have any suggestions for lessons to build skills for the role of “Big Board”?  (This is a student role responsible for summarizing the discussion at half-time and at the end of each daily Socratic discussion.) 

The ability to listen to different perspectives and then objectively synthesize content is a valuable resource for all students.  However, it is definitely a skill that requires higher-order thinking.  In order to build this skill, I might suggest a lesson using a videotaped discussion.  It might look something like this:

  • Introduce the importance of being able to listen to a discussion objectively and synthesize ideas (would love to hear attention grabber ideas here!- Maybe showing a clip from the Presidential debates?)
  • Show a short panel discussion.  Here is one on cyber-bullying that’s 8 minutes.
  • As students watch the video, have them practice taking notes.
  • Share notes with one another in small groups and do the following: 1.) Share the content of each person’s notes and talk about similarities and differences in what each person wrote down 2.) Talk about strategies used to take notes, synthesize ideas, and come up with a list of best practices for note taking 3.) Create one list of the “Big Ideas” from the video to share with the whole class
  • Each group can share out their tips and their “Big Ideas” summary

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