Presentation on theme: "Leading the Socratic Seminar"— Presentation transcript:
1 Leading the Socratic Seminar Presented by Martha LambCatawba County SchoolsAugust 13, 2009
2 Objectives You will . . . be able to write effective seminar questions learn how to prepare students to interact effectively during a seminardevelop basic skills for leading a Socratic Seminarbe familiar with strategies for evaluating student participation in seminars
3 What is the Socratic Seminar? A Socratic seminar is a structured discussion of a specific text based upon the questioning techniques used by Socrates in his teaching.
4 Benefits of the Socratic Seminar Promotes close and critical reading of textsTeaches respect for diverse ideasCreates a positive learning environment for all students.Provides a forum for students to practice taking and supporting a stance
5 Benefits of the Socratic Seminar (continued) Creates a community of inquiryAffords quality time to engage in in-depth discussion, problem-solving, and clarification of one’s ideasBuilds a strong, collaborative work culture.Places the student in the center of learning as an active and engaged participant
6 Dialogue, Not Debate Dialogue Debate Collaborative Listen to find common groundReveals assumptions for evaluationCreates open-minded attitudeRespects all participantsAssumes that many people have pieces of answersRemains open-endedOppositionalListen to find flaws in argumentDefends assumptions as truthCreates closed-minded attitudeMay belittle other participantsAssumes a single right answerDemands a conclusion
7 Taxonomies of Questions Great Books Foundation Levels of Questions:FactualInterpretiveEvaluativeCosta’s Levelsof Inquiry:Level 3 - apply, evaluate, hypothesize, judge, predict, speculateLevel 2 - analyze, compare, contrast, group, infer, sequence, synthesizeLevel 1 - define, describe, identify, list, name, observe, recite, scanUse to buildcomprehensionof a difficulttextUse tointerpreta perplexingtextSee handout.
8 Crafting Questions for Seminar Utilize a taxonomy (Costa’s works well)Prepare questions from each levelFocus on the higher-level questions in your seminarTry to remove bias from your questions that might lead the discussion in a particular directionWrite questions that require close examination of the text in order to answer
9 Practice Writing Questions With a partner, write two questions at each of Costa’s three levels for The Gettysburg Address.Be prepared to share your questions with the group.
10 1st Seminar: Gettysburg Address Rules for Participation –Be a good listener. The purpose of the seminar is to learn from each other by listening and discussing your ideas.You do not have to be called on to speak. but only one person may speak at a time.Refer to the text often to support your points or to raise additional questions.Speak to each other, not to the leader. This is your discussion.Do not use examples from other stories, books, movies, etc. to support your interpretation because all of the seminar members may not be familiar with those texts. Only use examples from the text.On what battlefield was the audience assembled?What does consecrate mean?What challenge did Lincoln issue in this speech?What effect do you think this speech had on the people in attendance?How might this speech have been received if it had been delivered in a Confederate state?
11 Seminar Leader Behaviors Ask questions in which you have a genuine interestRefrain from offering your own opinionKeep the discussion focused on the textAsk follow-up questionsAsk participants to clarify their pointsSeek to involve reluctant participants & restrain those who tend to monopolize the discussionLISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN!!!
12 Follow-Up Questions What in the text leads you to that conclusion? What do you mean by ___________?If what you say is so, then why did the author write ____________?Where in the text did you find that?Do you agree or disagree with the point that ___________ made?How does that example support your point?
13 Marking the Text as Preparation Always have students read the text two times before discussion:1st time - to get the main idea; the gist2nd time – to annotate the text
14 Marking the Text as Preparation -Underline important or perplexing text-Use codes: ! to mark surprising things? to mark confusing things* to mark important things-Write comments & observations in the margins**If students can’t mark up their text, give them sticky notes to use for their annotationsUse document camera to demonstrate marking the text
15 2nd Seminar: My Spanish Standoff Read the text through two timesOn your second reading, mark the text with your thoughts; this will help you in discussionInner Circle/Outer CircleUse to make a large group smaller & more manageable for a seminarAssign students to outer circle if they have been absent or are otherwise unprepared for discussionAlways have outer circle share notes
16 How should seminar participation be assessed? Self-assessment toolHolistic RubricAnalytic RubricWriting assignment as follow-upReflections posted on wikiOthers?
17 Prepare to Lead Mother to Son Third Seminar Read twice & mark text Work with a partner to prepare questionsWho will lead?Third Seminar
18 Revisit Objectives You will . . . be able to write effective seminar questionslearn how to prepare students to interact effectively during a seminardevelop basic skills for leading a Socratic Seminarbe familiar with strategies for evaluating student participation in seminars
19 Don’t forget to evaluate this workshop in SchoolLink.