Socratic method (seminar) http://www.studyguide.org/socratic_seminar.htm “The Socratic method of teaching and learning is based on Socrates' theory that it is more important to enable students to think for themselves than to merely fill their heads with ‘right’ answers. Therefore, he regularly engaged his pupils in dialogues by responding to their questions with questions, instead of answers.”
MAKE-UP ASSIGNMENT Write an “imaginary” dialogue between Socrates and you (the student) in which Socrates leads you (the student) through a questioning and dialoguing process that delves deeply into the discussion questions. Write THREE-PAGE DIALOGUE between you and Socrates that covers at least three of the six discussion questions from the Twain Socratic seminar. Use DIALOGUE format. Use Socratic questioning and answering process style in the dialogue you write. Use the example for guidance.
1.What specific political, religious, ethical and social influences of his time period influenced Twain’s works? How did they shape the characters, plots and settings in his writings? 2.In what ways did Twain use SATIRE in his writing? Give examples from texts and explain what social criticism he was making. 3.What kind of a mood and tone does Twain set in his works? 4.What themes or meanings are presented in Twain’s works? What views or comments on life do they make? Where, specifically, are these themes found in the texts? 5.What examples of irony do you find in Twain’s works? 6.How does the language style and sound of the language Twain uses contribute to his stories? How does Twain use language to achieve specific purposes or effects? Discussion questions from the Twain Socratic seminar: Select three to discuss with “Socrates.” make sure that you do more than just have “Socrates” pose the questions and you give one, long response—it needs to be a give-and-take dialogue.
SAMPLE OF SOCRATIC DIALOGUE FROM http://classicalschool.blogspot.com “Here's an excerpt of our son's Socratic Dialogue. He wanted to address the issue of Free Will. The student called himself ‘Adelphos” – you would use your own name.” Adelphos: Socrates, why do you waste your time by chatting with the people on the street? Socrates: Ah, Adelphos! What a delightful surprise!. I have waited years for somebody to ask this question. Exactly in what sense am I wasting my time? Adelphos: You aren't teaching anyone with your little dialogues in a way that can change their fate. Look at Demos there. He is the son of wise Erasmus, and also a wealthy young man of Athens. The gods know the number of his days, and he has inherited the wisdom of his father and the kindness of his mother. Look upon his face, his bearing, his diligence. He will be a fine young man whether he listens to you babble on for hours or not. Socrates: There are a few questions I want to ask you. First, if the gods know the number of Demos's days, does that necessarily make any action of his futile? Adelphos: It does not. The good deeds of a good man bring much blessings, whether his life is long or short. Socrates: And is it always the case that good fathers have good sons? Adelphos: That is not the case, though there are more good sons that come from good fathers than bad sons that come from good fathers or good sons that come from bad fathers.
SAMPLE OF SOCRATIC DIALOGUE (CONT.) Socrates: Exactly what causes the exceptions, particularly when bad sons are born to good fathers? Adelphos: It depends. Sometimes it's the result of the bad character that's given to the sons by the gods. Sometimes it's the ideas imposed upon the sons by other people that corrupt a naturally good character. Socrates: How do these ideas get imposed upon the naturally good sons? Adelphos: From spending too much time listening to the ideas of other people with poor character and imitating their actions. Let me give you an example. Alcibiades was born of a good family and he had plenty in terms of beauty and cleverness, but he turned out bad because he was surrounded by a few reckless and wild people. Socrates: Yet it would seem to me that if anyone was fated by the gods to be good, Alcibiades was. It looked as if he had many gifts from the gods and blessings from his parents, yet he turned out bad because he imitated the poor judgments and actions of others. Was he simply fated to spend his time with evil friends and so to learn to make bad choices? Or did he choose to do so? Adelphos: I see where you are going with this, Socrates. But choosing and being fated to choose are the same thing..."