What Is a Socratic Seminar?


Quick Answer

Socratic seminars are a teaching method in which students use discussion to help one another achieve a deeper understanding of a text or issue. These seminars generally have discussion leaders who pose open-ended questions to students but allow students to do the bulk of the speaking.

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Full Answer

In preparation for a Socratic seminar, all the students read a text in advance. They must come prepared with ideas and make any annotations necessary. The leader of the seminar comes with a set of discussion questions prepared, but it is also generally acceptable for students to pose questions of their own. Many teachers choose to arrange chairs or desks in a circle during the discussion, so all participants can see one another.

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