Socratic Seminar By: Kayla metheny

Best Practice

A procedure that has been shown by research and experience to produce optimal results and that is established or proposed as a standard suitable for widespread adoption.

What is Socratic Seminar?

Socratic seminars are named for their embodiment of Socrates’ belief in the power of asking questions, prize inquiry over information and discussion over debate. Socratic seminars acknowledge the highly social nature of learning and align with the work of John Dewey, Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget, and Paulo Friere.

The Socratic seminar is a formal discussion, based on a text, in which the leader asks open-ended questions. Within the context of the discussion, students listen closely to the comments of others, thinking critically for themselves, and articulate their own thoughts and their responses to the thoughts of others. They learn to work cooperatively and to question intelligently and civilly. (89)

Israel, Elfie. “Examining Multiple Perspectives in Literature.” In Inquiry and the Literary Text: Constructing Discussions n the English Classroom. James Holden and John S. Schmit, eds. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 2002.

Strategy in Practice

  • Choose a text
  • Prepare your students
  • Prepare questions
  • Establish Student Expectations
  • Establishing teacher role
  • Assess Effectiveness

Why you should use Socratic Seminar in the classroom?

What socratic seminar looks like in a second grade classroom.


Created with images by ivanolambertucci - "background yellow floor" • ElasticComputeFarm - "blackboard chalkboard whiteboard" • eslfuntaiwan - "quiz test exam"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.