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"The unexamined life is not worth living." -Socrates.

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Presentation on theme: ""The unexamined life is not worth living." -Socrates."— Presentation transcript:

1 "The unexamined life is not worth living." -Socrates

2  The Socratic method of teaching 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. This process encourages divergent thinking rather than convergent.

3 Before you come to a Socratic Seminar class, please read the assigned text and write at least four questions. Your questions should include no more than one from each of the categories (question types) described in this presentation. Please note that all examples come from the Pledge of Allegiance.

4  Write a question about the text that will help everyone in the class come to an agreement about events or individuals in the text. This question usually has a "correct" answer.  Example: What is the definition of a republic?

5  Write an insightful question about the text that will require proof, insights, and group discussion to discover or explore the answer to the question.  Example: What is involved in pledging allegiance? What does taking the pledge say about your relationship to government? Is pledging allegiance a responsibility of citizenship?

6  Write a question connecting the text to the real world.  Example: Should “under God” remain in the Pledge of Allegiance? What did the Supreme Court recently decide?

7  Write a question dealing with a theme(s) of the text that will encourage group discussion about the universality of the text.  Example: Has our nation lived up to its pledge of liberty and justice for all?

8  Do not participate if you are not prepared. A seminar should not be a bull session.  Do not raise your hand; just speak to each other.  Refer to the text when needed during the discussion. A seminar is not a test of memory. You are not "learning a subject"; your goal is to understand the ideas, issues, and values reflected in the text.

9  Invite others into the discussion- “Plato what do you think about  Comments must be appropriate, respectful, and focused  Listen to and build on one another’s comments- “I agree with Sue’s point about….and I would like to add….”

10 Dialogue is :  suspending judgment  examining our own work without defensiveness  exposing our reasoning and looking for limits to it  communicating our underlying assumptions  exploring viewpoints more broadly and deeply  being open to disconfirming data  approaching someone who sees a problem differently not as an adversary, but as a colleague in common pursuit of better solution

11  What is the philosophy behind Franklin’s public service?  What IS an American in Franklin’s view?  What virtues do you feel are missing from Franklin’s list?  Some say Franklin is America's first Horatio Alger--a man of humble origins who arrives at great wealth and stature by virtue of his own industry. Do you agree?  What elements of Franklin's narrative help to sustain this depiction?  What elements appear to work against it? To what factors would you attribute his "success"?


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