The benefits of Socratic seminars with students is amazing and transformed my classroom years ago when I decided to really delve in and get kids talking! I gave up trying to get them to stoptalking and listen to me. Instead, I encouraged them to talk and listen to each other. And it worked! They were engaged, learning from each other and the best part was (and still is) the learning became meaningful to them. The kids looked forward to our discussion circles and were upset if we missed a day! I knew I was onto something when one day, I said to my class that we were going to learn how to have a discussion. A student raised her hand and responded, "I am so glad we're going to do this. I don't really know how to talk to my friends because it's always in text messages."
In Socratic Seminars, Students Learn How:
Get off their devices and into a real-life conversation
To articulate their thoughts and understanding of a text (or other media type)
Listen to each other and RESPOND to another person's comments, questions and insights
Consider another person's perspective that may not mirror their own
Not to rely on the teacher for the learning, instead they rely on each other
I teach 6th grade humanities at a project-based school in San Diego, Ca. I also create digital teaching resources for upper elementary and middle school teachers. I love using Socratic seminars in my classroom because I truly believe it is the best way to keep my students highly engaged and excited about learning. You will find those resources FREE on my site!