Before the Seminar
Participants study the assigned texts closely before
getting to the seminar.
Participants should formulate questions before the
discussion. For example:
I have questions about…
Another point of view is…
I think this means…
What confuses me is…
I’d like to talk to people about…
Do you think this is similar to…
The big idea seems to be…
During the Seminar:
There is no “right” answer.
Don’t raise hands (Just speak up as if you are having a
Take turns speaking
Do not interrupt
Address one another respectfully
Base opinions on the text
No side conversations
Monitor your talking time
Invite those who have not talked into the conversation
Content of Seminar
Refer to the text. The goal is to understand ideas.
Cite reasons and evidence for your statements
Ask for clarification if confused
Stick to the point under consideration. Take notes if
you want to get back to or start a different topic.
Take notes on ideas that are being expressed.
Take responsibility for the seminar. It is only as good
as you make it.
This is Dialogue, Not a Debate
Socratic Seminars, Williamson County Schools,
October 27 2010,
Socratic Seminar, Northwest Association for
Biomedical Research, October 27 2010,