Another possibility is to use Socratic Seminar as a complete course, either as an elective, an after-school offering, or as a required skills class. This allows teachers to focus on the critical and creative thinking, interpersonal, and close reading skills that the students need in order to be successful.
In this model the seminars become the curriculum. Critical and creative thinking, interpersonal, active listening and close reading skills (and others) become the focus of learning. According to Strong, this model “allows for the full use of the ‘emerging curriculum’ concept, according to which the next textual selection is determined by the conversational needs of the group. Thus, curriculum emerges based on the direction the students take the class. English classes generally have this freedom, because language skills are central to their content mission.”
I used this model for many years at the middle school level with two Socratic Seminars a week. I definitely enjoyed the freedom of text selection and used a wide variety so that the students could practice approaching any text or problem in thoughtful and meaningful ways. Students became so confident and their thinking habits so strong that they coined the word Socraticize. When handed nearly any text, no matter how difficult, the students asked, “Should we Socraticize this?” and they’d get to work annotating and generating questions.
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