We actually had two seminars. In the first seminar I was a participant and for the second seminar I was an observer. We provided feedback to each participant using a Socratic Seminar Rubric. The discussions were deep and informed by our texts. It was interesting to note that both groups choose to skip over a question involving Common Core. Perhaps with the State Pilot occurring at this time many of us wanted a break from the topic. We noted that there are distinct trends in technology usage based on the age of the teacher. We discussed gaming in classes, differences in accessibility to technology and the many benefits technology can offer.
Socratic Seminar is a very effective way to conduct deep conversations which probe into the deeper understanding of concepts. Our school is a Classical Studies Magnet School. To learn more about how we use socratic seminar in our classrooms visit our school web site at Rosswoodward.org . We are partners with Paideia.org . Here is a quick video sample of student to student discourse . The Paideia Center also provides Paideia Seminar Lesson Plans which are very thorough and free to use. Our students as young as kindergarten participate in seminars. Out seminar texts are not always documents. For example we may use a ruler or a coin as the "primary source" of our discussions. The Socratic Seminar is one way to put the ownership and responsibility for learning in the hands of learners. It is also a form of assessment by the very nature of its structure.