Have you ever organized a Socratic Seminar in your classroom? This learning scenario gives you a good example on how to organize one, taking the contemporary issue of migration as a topic.
This learning scenario, created by Ivana Stiglec, Europeana Ambassador for Croatia, combines the Socratic Seminar method and Europeana’s Migration Collection to make students aware of migration in the past and present. Students lead a student-centered discussion, and develop both their language and critical thinking skills in the process.
In groups, they work on a migration story from Europeana, and find out the different reasons for migration. Each group work is then shared with the whole class, and discussed. They then enact a role play; an online chat with an immigrant, using Talkwall. At the final phase of the activity, students are divided into two circles. One part of the class is in an inner circle speaking, and the other part of the class is in an outer circle observing. Each speaker has two observers, which creates groups of 3. The roles (speaker, observer 1, observer 2) rotate during the discussion. Teacher’s role is that of a facilitator. Students discuss issues related to migration.
Ivana’s scenario also includes her experiences about implementing it with her students. Why not implement it yourself and see whether your experiences are similar!
What is a Socratic Seminar?
A Socratic Seminar can have a number of different versions, differing by curriculum or country. However, all definitions seem to agree on the point; that it is a pedagogical method, aiming to introduce a topic or an issue in an in-depth manner and give students the possibility to question all aspects. According to the Australian Curriculum Studies Association, a Socratic Seminar is NOT a debate.
A Socratic Circle, also used by Ivana in her learning scenario, is a “systematic procedure used to examine a text or explore a concept through a series of questions and answers founded on the beliefs that all new knowledge is connected to prior knowledge, that all thinking comes from asking questions, and that asking one question should lead to asking further questions.” (ASCA Australia, nd.)
Would you like to know more about this learning scenario ? You can download it bellow :
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