Socratic Seminars are� by HG2isAon


									                                                 Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                        August 27, 2007

                                    An Introduction

Introduction                                                                      2—3
Texts                                                                             4—5
Questions                                                                       6—11
103 Great Ideas                                                                     12
Guidelines for Leaders & Participants                                               13
Sample Grade Sheet                                                                  14
Sample Participant Observer Form                                                    15
Process Observation Form                                                            16
Questions to Ask About a Seminar                                                    17
Collective Dialogue Protocol                                                        18
Session Evaluation                                                                  19

                                                                      Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                                             August 27, 2007
Socratic Seminars are…
     Collective Inquiry
     An Exchange of Ideas
     Not a Transmission of Information
     Without “Right” Answers

   The Goal is an enlarged, shared understanding of ideas, issues, or values through
                          What is Dialogue? Emphatically NOT a debate!

                                   DIALOGUE AND DEBATE

     Dialogue is collaborative: multiple sides work toward shared understanding.
      Debate is oppositional: two opposing sides try to prove each other wrong.

     In Dialogue, on listens to understand, to make meaning, and find common ground.
      In Debate, one listens to find flaws, to spot differences, and to counter arguments.

     Dialogue reveals assumptions for examination and reevaluation.
      Debate defends assumptions as truth.

     Dialogue creates an open-minded attitude: an openness to being wrong and an openness to
      Debate creates a close-minded attitude, a determination to be right.

     In Dialogue, one submits one’s best thinking, expecting that other people’s reflections will help
      improve it rather than threaten it.
      In Debate, one submits one’s best thinking and defends it against challenge to show that it is

     Dialogue calls for temporarily suspending one’s beliefs.
      Debate calls for investing wholeheartedly in one’s beliefs.

     In Dialogue, one searches for strengths in all positions.
      In Debate, one searches for weaknesses in the other position.

     Dialogue respects all the other participants and seeks not to alienate or offend.
      Debate rebuts contrary positions and may belittle or deprecate other participants.

     Dialogue assumes that many people have pieces of answers and that cooperation can lead to
      greater understanding.
      Debate assumes a single right answer that somebody already has.

     Dialogue remains open-ended.
      Debate demands a conclusion

                                                          Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                                 August 27, 2007
                                Elements of Socratic Seminars…

A text is almost anything that is rich in ideas or values: fiction, non-fiction,
technical writing, quotes, definitions, movies, TV shows, photographs, paintings,
sculptures, buildings…

A good opening question has no “right answer.” Socratic questions generate new
questions and responses; this is not a teacher attempting to “guide” students to a
particular viewpoint.

As a Socratic Seminar leader, you have a dual role as both a leader and a
participant, which is a truly precarious balancing act.

The participants have the responsibility of studying the text, listening actively to
one another, sharing ideas, and questioning themselves and others.

Socratic Seminars are all about critical thinking, and address these Habits of
   What is it I think I know?
   How do I know what I know?
   How do I know that I know?
   What is the evidence?
   Whose viewpoint is this?
   How is it connected to other things?
   How else may it be connected?
   What difference does it make?
   What if…?
   So what??

                                                                      Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                                             August 27, 2007
                                       The Purpose Of Education

                                        by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,
                      Morehouse College Student Paper, The Maroon Tiger, in 1947
As I engage in the so-called "bull sessions" around and about the school, I too often find that most
college men have a misconception of the purpose of education. Most of the "brethren" think that
education should equip them with the proper instruments of exploitation so that they can forever
trample over the masses. Still others think that education should furnish them with noble ends rather
than means to an end.
It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the
one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to
achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of his life.

Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to
think for one's self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of
half truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is
fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and
scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give
us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of
the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true
from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.

The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But
education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous
criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.

The late Eugene Talmadge, in my opinion, possessed one of the better minds of Georgia, or even
America. Moreover, he wore the Phi Beta Kappa key. By all measuring rods, Mr. Talmadge could
think critically and intensively; yet he contends that I am an inferior being. Are those the types of men
we call educated?

We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true
education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives
upon which to concentrate. The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the
accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living.

If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical
propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, "brethren!" Be careful, teachers!

                                                                            Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                                                   August 27, 2007
                                             The Socratic Method
                                    “The unexamined life is not worth living”

“A Rough and a Smooth Method”
There is a rough and a smooth method in intellectual education. There is a time-honored mode which our
fathers commonly practiced towards their sons, and which is still adopted by many—either of roughly reproving
their errors, or of gently advising them; these two methods may be correctly described as admonition. But some
thinkers appear to have arrived at the conclusion that all ignorance is involuntary, and that no one who thinks
himself wise is willing to learn anything in the subjects in which he believes himself clever, and that the
admonitory sort of instruction gives much trouble and does little good. So they set to work to eradicate the spirit
of conceit in another way. They cross-examine a man’s words, when he thinks that he is talking sense but really
is not, and easily convict him of inconsistencies in his opinions; these they then place side by side, and show that
they contradict one another. He, seeing this, is angry with himself, and grows gentle toward others, and thus is
entirely delivered from great prejudices and harsh notions, in a way which is most amusing to the hearer, and
produces the most lasting good effect on the person who is the subject of the operation. For as the physician
considers that the body will receive no benefit from taking food until internal obstacles have been removed, so
the purifier of the soul is conscious that his patient will receive no benefit from the application of knowledge
until he is refuted, and from refutation learns modesty; he must be purged of his prejudices first and made to
think that he knows only what he knows, and no more. For all these reasons, Theaetetus, we must admit that
refutation is the greatest and chiefest of purifications, and he who has not been refuted, though he be the King of
Persia himself, is in an awful state of impurity; he is uneducated and ugly just where purity and beauty are
essential to happiness. (Sophist, 229f.)

“Dire are the Pangs”
My art is like that of midwives, but differs from theirs, in that I attend men and not women, and I look after their
souls when they are in labor, and not after their bodies: and the triumph of my art is in thoroughly examining
whether the thought which the mind of a young man brings forth is a phantom and a lie, or a fruitful and true
birth. And like the midwives, I am barren, and the reproach often made against me, that I ask questions of
others and have not the wit to answer them myself, is very just—the reason is, that the god compels me to be a
midwife, but does not allow me to have children. So I myself am not at all wise, nor have I any invention or
child of my own soul to show, but those who talk with me profit. Some of them appear dull enough at first, but
afterwards, as our acquaintance ripens, if God is gracious to them, they all make astonishing progress; and this
in the opinion of others as well as in their own. It is quite clear that they never learned anything from me; all
that they master and discover comes from themselves. But to me and the god they owe their delivery. And the
proof of my words is, that many of them in their ignorance, either in their self-conceit despising me, or falling
under the influence of others, have gone away too soon; and have not only lost by an ill upbringing the children
of whom I had previously delivered them, but have had subsequent miscarriages owing to evil associates,
prizing lies and shams more than the truth; and they have at last ended by seeing themselves, as others see them,
to be great fools. Dire are the pangs which my art is able to arouse and to allay in those who consort with me,
just like the pangs of women in childbirth; night and day they are full of perplexity and travail which is even
worse than that of the women. So much for them. And there are others, Theaetetus, who come to me apparently
having nothing in them; and as I know that they have no need of my art, I coax them into marrying some one,
and by the grace of God I can generally tell who is likely to do them good. Many of them I have given away to
Prodicus, and many to other inspired sages. I tell you this long story, friend Theaetetus, because I suspect, as
indeed you seem to think yourself, that you are in labor—great with some conception. Come then to me, who
am a midwife’s son and myself a midwife, and do your best to answer the questions which I will ask you. And
if I expose your first-born, because I discover upon inspection that the conception which you have formed is a
blind shadow, do not quarrel with me on that account, as women do when their first children are taken from
them. For I have actually known some who were ready to bite me when I deprived them of a darling folly, they
did not see that I acted from goodwill, not knowing that no god is the enemy of man; neither am I their enemy in
all this, but it would be wrong for me to admit falsehood, or to stifle the truth. (Theaetetus, 150f)

                                                          From R. W. Livingstone, ed., Plato: Selected Passages
                                                                                    Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                                                           August 27, 2007
Socratic Seminar Opening Questions
The opening question is what sparks the discussion and…
 The leader is genuinely curious about it (and it is likely to be of interest to the group).
 The question has no single “right” answer.
 The conversation leads to a greater understanding of the ideas in the text.
 The question is best addressed by referring to the text.

There are many different types of questions and prep-work assignments…what they all share is that they are attempting to
have students think of the deeper issues a text (whether the text is fiction or non, movie, TV show, sculpture, painting, etc.).

For ranking questions, I usually have the following before and after the list of ideas/quotes:
 Rank order the following ideas/symbols/themes/quotes (1-10) according to their importance to the text.
 Justify your top three (or 2 or 1) choices. Write a minimum 100-word justification for each of your top three choices.
    That means the total assignment is a minimum of 300 words. Supply examples from the text which support why each
    of your top three choices were selected.

And at the beginning of a Seminar I have on the overhead:
Please write down the following either on the same paper as your Seminar Prep or on another sheet:
Before the Seminar:
      What is your goal for the Seminar? If you’ve been in Seminars before, what do you need to improve on? If you
          haven’t been in Seminars before, what would you like to see yourself do?
After the Seminar:
      How well did you do reaching your goal? What is your goal for the next Seminar?
      What rating would you give the Seminar we just had on a scale of 1—10 (10 is the best!!)?
      Write 1—2 sentences explaining why you gave the Seminar the rating you did.
Please turn in:
      Your Seminar Prep Work & your marked up text
      If you took notes outside of the Seminar, your notes
      All of the questions from above…

Epic of Gilgamesh
1. What is the relationship between humans and the gods?
2. Describe the relationship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh. Interpret
3. What does the text tell us about Mesopotamia’s world view?
4. What is Gilgamesh’s “tragic” flaw?

Miller’s Tale Seminar—Rank
Lust and Love           Betrayal (Cheating and Lying)             Sin                  Knowledge
Virtue and Vice         Pleasure and Pain                         Punishment           Desire/ Promiscuity
Duty                    Justice

Romeo and Juliet-Rank
LOVE              FAMILY                   HONOR                  TRUST                   REVENGE
HATE              FRIENDSHIP               COURAGE                JUSTICE                 DESIRE

1. Who did Gregor admire the most from his family and why?
2. Do physical characteristics change how we are treated and how we treat others? Explain.
3. What causes Gregor’s death? Does his death matter since he was a bug?
4. Does work ultimately transform people into monsters? Explain why.
5. Do physical characteristics change how we are treated and how we treat others? Explain.
6. What causes Gregor’s death? Does his death matter since he was a bug? What is the meaning of his death?

                                                                                  Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                                                         August 27, 2007
Narrative of a Slave by Frederick Douglass
1. Does power come from pride, or does pride come from power?
2. How does slavery affect both the slave and the slaveholder?
3. What does the word “dehumanize” mean, and how does slavery, in its essence, dehumanize?

No Exit
1. Why does Sartre write about hell if he doesn't believe in it?
2. Do you think that by realizing what they did was wrong, they helped themselves understand why they were there?
3. Does Garcin have any control over Inez torturing him? Is he letting her do it?
4. When Garcin says, "You won't catch anything. We're chasing after each other, round and round in a vicious circle, like
the horses on a roundabout," do you think that by realizing that this, it would help to lessen the torture?
5. Has this play affected or changed any or your views on life? If so, in what ways?
6. Why does Estelle stab Inez with a knife and why is this significant?
7. Are any of them taking responsibility for what did to get to hell? Why or why not?
8. What does Inez mean when she says to Garcin, "You can't throttle thoughts with hands, so you've no choice, you must
convince me and you're at my mercy?" Explain significance.
9. Are the connections between them real or forced? Explain why they're inseparable, and why is this significant?
10. Do you think that the tortures they received were the best tortures for them? Why or why not?
11. Do you think that if they were more secure of how they felt, the torturing would still go on? Explain.
12. Are they all in hell for one specific reason? Is that fair? Why or why not?

Night by Elie Wiesel
The “other”                 Man’s inhumanity to man/cruelty
Suffering                   The journey (Dark Night of the Soul, loss of innocence, confrontation with evil)
Silence                     Loss of self-respect and respect for others
Loss of self                Humanity vs. animal instinct
Mind over matter            Struggle with God and religion
Night                       Survival @ the cost of soul
Father/son relationship     “Survival of the fittest”
Dehumanization              The effect of fear on humans

Animal Farm by George Orwell
Hypocrisy                 Power                       Betrayal
Loyalty                   Corruption                  Futility (things are worthless, so don’t even try)
Lying/Propaganda          Hope                        Cynicism (general mistrust of things)

1.   “Your resolution must never falter. No argument must lead you astray. Never listen when they tell you that Man and
    the animals have a common interest…we must not come to resemble him…No animal must ever live in a house or
    sleep in a bed, or wear clothes, or drink alcohol, or smoke tobacco, or touch money, or engage in trade.” -Old Major
2. “Nobody stole, nobody grumbled over his rations, the quarreling and biting and jealousy which had been normal
    features of life in the old days had almost disappeared.” -Narrator
3. “Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure. On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No
    one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you
    make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where
    should we be.” -Squealer about Napoleon
4. “Once again the animals were conscious of a vague uneasiness. Never to have any dealings with human beings, never
    to engage in trade, never to make use of money—had not these been among the earliest resolutions passed at the first
    triumphant Meeting when Jones was expelled?” -Narrator
5. “Whenever anything went wrong it became usual to attribute it to Snowball.” -Narrator
6. “…the tale of confessions and executions went on, until there was a pile of corpses lying before Napoleon’s feet and
    the air was heavy with the smell of blood, which had been unknown there since the expulsion of Jones.” -Narrator
7. “No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.” -Written on the barn wall
8. “No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.” -Written on the barn wall
9. “Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer—except,
    of course, for the pigs and the dogs.” –Narrator
10. “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.” -Written on the barn wall

                                                                                   Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                                                          August 27, 2007
Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals-rank
Courage                Justice                  Pride                        Fairness                  Love
Faith                  Hate                     Power                        Friendship

Einstein’s Dreams Seminar
How is the text about both control and freedom?

1. Was King a good person? Was he actually Steve's friend?
2. Did any of the lawyers put any feeling or emotion into the Case? Why/Why not?
3. Who saw Steve as a monster, and who saw him as an innocent person? Why/Why not?
4. Do you think that by writing the screenplay helped Steve find who he really is? Why/Why not?
5. How has Steve's ordeal affected his credibility and/or relationships?
6. How Steve's experience changed his life? Do you think it's for the better?
7. Do you feel that Steve was pressured into this "get over?" Why/Why not?
8. How do you think Steve's parents feel about him now? How do you think Steve feels about this whole incident?
9. What does he mean at the end when he says, "his image is in black and white, and the grain is nearly broken. It looks
like one of the pictures they use for psychological testing, or some strange beast, a monster?"
10. Why does Steve question who he is, knowing that the answers cannot be found from his point of view.

Greek Philosophers
1. What is the Good and why should we pursue it?
2. Aristotle believed that the universal was more desirable than the particular, do you agree? Why?

The Socratic Method by Plato Seminar Prep--RANK
Rough                     Smooth                Truth                               Untruth
Good                      Evil                  Knowledge                           Ignorance
Wisdom                    “Self-Conceit”

Socratic Method (Kid Generated)
1. Could the Socratic Method way of teaching work in today’s world? Why/Why not?
2. Is Socrates a “smart” man himself?
3. If you have the “spirit of conceit” and think you know everything, if someone was to ask a question and you didn’t
    know the answer, would you guess or break your dignity and say “I don’t know the answer?” Why/Why not?
4. How does Socrates feel about both truth and lies?
5. What does Socrates see as value in a friendship?
6. Why is the idea of “birth of ideas” used so often the text?
7. Can a person know everything?
8. What does Socrates mean by rough?
9. Even though Socrates admits he is not very wise at all, do you think his ability to bring out so much intelligence in
    others makes him wise? Why/Why not?

St. Augustine, Adolescence (Kid Generated)
1. Why do some people who commit sins feel guilty and yet still commit those sins?
2. Why do people “code switch” or change how they act when they are around certain groups of people?
3. Why do people do bad things like steal if they know the consequences?

St. Augustine, Neo Platonic Quest (Kid Generated)
1. Why is faith/religion important to people? Why do people take faith/religion so seriously?
2. What is the purpose of the words “good” and “evil” if there are not any specific definitions of them?
3. Is faith controlled by God or is it in a person’s control? Does God determine an individual’s faith, or is faith affected
     by actions?
4. Who/what is god?
5. Is it ever right to steal? Or as if you found something would you give it back? Why?
6. What is the origin of evil?
7. What is good/Good?

                                                                                    Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                                                           August 27, 2007
Voltaire Quotes--Rank
1. “A human race such, as it is, cannot subsist unless there is an infinity of useful men who possess nothing at all; for it is
    certain that a man who is well off will not leave his own land to come and till yours”
2. “All men are born with a sufficiently violent liking for domination, wealth and pleasure, and with much taste to
    idleness; consequently all men want their money and the wives or daughters of others to be their master”
3. “All men have the right in the bottom of their hearts to think themselves entirely equal to other men.”
4. “All the animals of each species are equal among themselves”
5. “All the poor are not unhappy”
6. “All these wars finish sooner or later with the subjection of people, because the powerful have money, and money is
    master of everything in a state.”
7. “I have two hands and two feet as much pride as you”
8. “If this globe were covered with wholesome fruits; if the air, which could contribute to our life, gave us no diseases
    and a premature death.”
9. “If this world were what it seems it should be, if man could find everywhere in it an easy subsistence, and a climate
    suitable to his nature, it is clear that it would be impossible for one man to enslave another”
10. “In our unhappy world it is impossible for men living in society not to be divided into two classes, the one that the rich
    commands, the other the poor that serves; and these two are subdivided into a thousand and these thousand still have
    different gradations”
11. “One of the two indigent families offers its arms to the rich family in order to have bread; the other goes to attack it and
    is beaten”
12. “The nation which makes the best use of the sword will always subjugate the nation which has more gold and less
13. “The serving family is the origin of servants and the beaten family the origin of the slaves”
14. “Who is vexed at being received everywhere with an air of being patronized or scorned who sees quite clearly that
    many monsignors have no more knowledge, wit or virtue than he, and who at times is bored at waiting in their
    antechambers, what should he decide to do? Why, to take himself off.”

Descartes Seminar
1. How do we know truly what we know?
2. Which is more effective, the senses or your intuition?
3. What is your opinion about questioning what’s real and what is not? Good or Bad? Why or why not?

Cornell West – Democracy Matters
1. What is the difference between prophetic and Constantinian hip hop? How are the attached lyrics from Blue Scholars
    an example of prophetic?
2. What are examples of the “mendacities and hypocrisies” of adults vis-à-vis young people? How can young people
    become authentic without positive role models?
3. Why is it necessary for youth to be engaged positively in their community/world? Explain…

The Melian Dialogue
1. Does “might make right” in the text? In today’s world? Why/Why Not?
2. In your opinion, who is more just, the Athenians or the Melians?

Cicero The Laws Seminar
1. How are knowledge and justice related?
2. When is it ok to break the law
3. Why do people do “right” even though it’s not written down as laws? How do we decide what is “right reason” with
    diverse points of view?

Machiavelli, The Prince
1. Can both fear and love engender respect? Why?
2. Can fear come from love? Why?

                                                                                  Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                                                         August 27, 2007
CRASH Socratic Seminar Prep 1
1. “sense of touch…in LA nobody touches you…me miss that touch so much that we crash into each other just to feel
    something” Graham
2. “Whoa Osama, plan the jihad on your own time…yes I make insult at you.” Gun storeowner
3. “Sheniqua Johnson, big fu$%ing surprise;” John Ryan
4. “hip hop is the music of the oppressor…you think there’s a difference (between hip hop and country)?” “In the 60s
    there were smart articulate black men speaking out;” rap is “marmalade;” Anthony to Peter
5. “I got scared…I couldn’t believe you let him do that…I was humiliated for you…I couldn’t stand watchin’ that man
    take away your dignity.” Kristine to Cameron
6. “wait until you’ve been doing this longer…you think you know who you are…you have no idea” John Ryan to Tommy
7. “Fu$%ing black people…lack of opportunities…they just can’t keep their hands out of the cookie jar…It’s gotta get to
    you…what do those kids need?” Assistant District Attorney to Graham
8. “I am angry at them…Angry all the time.” Jean
9. “you embarrass me, you embarrass yourself.” Cameron to Anthony
10. “Moving at the speed of life, we are bound to collide with each other”

CRASH Socratic Seminar Prep 2

Hotel Rwanda Socratic Seminar Questions
1. How can this happen? Hmmm…
2. Was Paul a hero? What was he trying to prove through his actions?
3. What role did the media play in the genocide? In our perception of what is happening in the rest of the world?
4. What is the significance of Paul being abandoned by his “friends?” Africa being abandoned by the world? How is this
    related to the world seeing Africa aw helpless/hopeless?

La Haine/Hate
1. Describe the three main protagonists in the film--Hubert, the Afro-Caribbean, Said, the North African, and Vinz, the
    Jewish character--and their relationship with each other. How do the three characters identify themselves in relation to
    their immigrant families/parents, France and French national culture, the international youth culture, gangs, the police,
    their ethnic heritage?
2. HATE is set in the so-called banlieues, suburban districts of large cities such as Paris or Lyon that have become
    synonymous with areas of social disadvantage--poverty, high unemployment, and immigrant minority or
    disenfranchised groups who have been excluded from French society (i.e. the French version of the ghetto). Describe
    the ways in which the film represents the banlieue in which the three main characters find themselves trapped. Does the
    banlieue relate to anything you are familiar with?
3. Olivier Mongin in Esprit has written that the film is about "the impossibility of developing an identity, personal or
    collective." Do you agree with this statement? Why or Why not? How does this idea relate to “the other” and the
    alienation of the individual in modern society?
4. What does the film say about redemption? Are our attempts at self-determination futile?

Blade Runner
1. What does it mean to be human in the world of Blade Runner? Is there any characteristic we as a species can call
    uniquely ours?
2. We stand today on the verge of genetic engineering achievements like those described in Blade Runner. Is slavery a
    possibility for us, too, given the societies in which we live?
3. Are there historic precedents for the world depicted in Scott's film? What are the ethical norms of its inhabitants? Who
    articulated them, and by what means?

                                                                                    Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                                                           August 27, 2007
The Matrix
1. Although this film presents an alternative reality (or realities), it relies for much of its narrative on familiar
    cultural myths, archetypes, and beliefs.
    Identify as many of these as you can and discuss how they are handled in this film (see attached for
2. What are the main attitudes and beliefs related to technology offered by The Matrix? What stereotypical
    representations of technology (and the human-technology relationship) does it rely on? In addition, in what
    ways is technology viewed as oppressive, threatening, sinister, liberating, illuminating, etc. Consider also the
    illusion/reality paradox posed by the film.
3. What is the role of choice in the movie? Is this a world that embraces free will or determinism?

Finding Forrester 1-rank
Courage                  Pride                           Education                   Friendship
Faith                    Justice                         Hate                        Power

Finding Forrester 2
1. Does power come from pride, or does pride come from power?
2. When does language give someone power in the story? When does language take power away from someone in the
3. Compare and Contrast the way Jamal speaks with his friends and the way he speaks with Forrester and at the private

Modernity Seminar Questions:
1. What are the 3 most beneficial effects of modernity? The 3 most detrimental? Explain (think on both
   physical/material and psychological levels).
2. Based on characteristics of modernity (all the “isms), as well as recent events in our modern world, is modernity a
   “hope” or a “doom? Why?
3. Given that social practices, such as slavery and gender roles, are necessary to form a modern society, does this justify
   their inhumane side?
4. Do the psychological hazards of modern life, such as alienation, feeling of rootlessness, and hedonism, make our
   society more selfish and violent than past societies? Explain.
5. Is modernity a result of globalization or is globalization a result of modernity?
6. What will bring an end to “modern” society?

Reading, Power and Society-RANK
Obviously literacy is connected to culture and power…in your paper you will describe how they are connected (based on
your interviews, and what we have read and discussed in class) and how you identify yourself as a reader in that context.
For the seminar to prepare for the paper, please do the following:

TRUST              EQUALITY                COURAGE             IDENTITY                RESPECT
RISK               STRUGGLE                POWER               CULTURE                 JUSTICE

                                                                     Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                                            August 27, 2007
                                    The 103 Great Ideas
      Beauty             Being                 Good/Evil                  Same/Other                Truth
       Beauty                   Being                        Courage                        Same/Other
       Desire                   Duty                          Honor                           Truth
      Good/Evil              Happiness                       Equality                        Wisdom
       Justice                Prudence                      Temperance                        Wealth
         Sin                 Virtue/Vice
      Aristocracy             Citizen                      Constitution                     Progress
  Custom/Convention         Democracy                       Monarchy                         Slavery
        Family              Government                        Justice                       War/Peace
        Labor                 Liberty                        Equality                        Power
      Oligarchy             Revolution                  Tyranny/Despotism                     State
                                            LIBERAL ARTS
     Definition          Logic                  Dialectic                 Mathematics            Language
       Idea             Rhetoric                Induction                 Hypothesis             Reasoning

       Angel                    Being               Cause                              Necessity/Contingency
      Chance                   Change               Form                                     Principle
      Eternity                   Fate              Equality                                  Relation
        God                    Infinity             Matter                                     Time
     Metaphysics                Space               Nature                                     World
     One/Many                 Quantity            Opposition                            Universal/Particular
      Quality                Same/Other
                               ANTHROPOLOGY & PSYCHOLOGY
      Animal                 Civilization                     Desire                         Prophecy
     Emotion                 Experience                       Habit                           Sense
    Immortality               Judgment                      Knowledge                          Will
   Life & Death                 Love                           Man                             Soul
Memory & Imagination            Mind                         Opinion                      Sign & Symbol
  Pleasure & Pain
Astronomy & Cosmology          Cause                         Chance                           Space
       Element                Infinity                      Mathematics                       Time
        Matter               Mechanics                        Nature                          World
        Quality              Quantity                        Relation
         Art                 Education                      Evolution                        Rhetoric
       History               Language                         Law                             Science
        Logic               Mathematics                     Mechanics                        Theology
       Physics                Poetry                         Religion

                                                                            Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                                                   August 27, 2007
  1. Asks a series of questions that give direction to the discussion.
  2. Makes sure the questions are understood or rephrases them until they are understood.
  3. Raises issues that lead to further questions.
  4. Asks questions that allow for a range of answers deserving consideration and demanding judgment.
  5. Allows for discussion of conflict or differences.
  6. Examines answers and draws out implications or reasons.
  7. Insists that answers be clear or be rephrased until they are clear.
  8. Requests that reasons for answers be given.
  9. Does not insist upon general agreement to a single answer.
  10. Raises all sides of an argument for examination.
  11. Practices active listening: waits 3—5 seconds for a reply, accepts students’ answers, then requests
  12. Redirects the question using different types of questioning (see below)

Avoid YES/NO/WHO/WHAT/WHEN questions—they are dead ends…Go for HOW & WHY!!

    1. Paraphrasing—repeat what student said back to them or have another student paraphrase what was said.
    2. Serializing—Base questions on some part of the student’s previous response (an idea, word, issue, etc.).
    3. Clarifying—What do you mean by ___? What question are we trying to answer? What are you
    4. Expanding—Why do you say that? How do you support that (example/analogy)? What puzzles you?
       Do you agree with ___? But what about ____? How does this relate to _____?
    5. Pausing/Silence—Usually, silence means they are thinking…and that’s what we want them to do!

1. Refer to the text when needed during the discussion. A seminar is not a test of memory. You are not
    “learning a subject;” your goal is to understand ideas, issues and values reflected in the text.
2. It is OK to “pass” when asked to contribute (but you need to make at least 1 comment to receive credit.
3. Do not participate if you are not prepared. A seminar should not be a bull session
4. Do not stay confused; ask for clarification.
5. Stick to the point currently under discussion; make notes about ideas you want to come back to.
6. Don’t raise hands; take turns speaking.
7. Listen carefully to one another.
8. Speak so that everyone can hear you.
9. Talk to each other, not just to me.
10. Discuss ideas or issues, rather than each other’s opinions.
11. YOU are responsible for the seminar, even if you don’t know it or admit it (If the seminar sucks-that’s on
    you, if it rocks-that’s you too).

You will either receive or lose points for the following actions:
POSITIVE                                                                      NEGATIVE
-Taking a position                     -Asking a clarifying                   -Not paying attention
-Making a relevant                     question                               -Interrupting the seminar
comment                                -Making an analogy                     -Making an irrelevant
-Offering evidence to support your     -Recognizing a                         comment
position                               contradiction                          -Making a personal attack
-Drawing another person into the       -Recognizing an irrelevant comment     -Monopolizing

                                                       Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                              August 27, 2007
                        Socratic Seminar Grade Sheet


Taking a Position

Making a relevant

Evidence to support

Drawing another
person into

Clarifying Question



irrelevant comments

Not paying attention


Irrelevant comment

Personal Attacks



                                                                   Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                                          August 27, 2007
                                 Socratic Seminar Observer Form


1. Indicate the names of Participants. Put a “+” after the person’s name each time he or she
   contributes to the seminar

2. Record the main ideas, issues and values discussed OR

   Record what you heard or saw. Do not make judgments. Do not use any words like good, bad,
   great, terrible which indicate you are judging what occurred. Let your words serve as a camera,
   which only records what happens

                                                                                   Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                                                          August 27, 2007
                                            Socratic Seminar Video Observations

The purpose of the viewing of the Socratic Seminar video is not only to see a Seminar in action, but to enhance your
understanding of your own practice and leadership of Socratic Seminars. Before your viewing, think about a question that
you have about the leadership of Socratic Seminars. Is there a question that gnaws at you or that you feel some passion

The goal of the observation is for everyone present to learn more about the practice of Socratic Seminar leadership, not to
critique what occurs in the video. You are watching to gain insight into a question that you have framed related to your
own leadership of Socratic Seminars. You are not watching to evaluate the leadership skills of the teacher. You are
observing to learn more about your practice of Socratic Seminar leadership.

Please keep a journal or notebook with your notes and reflections from your observation. Be sure to complete an entry for
each Seminar you view. These reflections (though private) will serve us in our collective dialogue, and we will use our
learning and these visits to shape our conversation.

My question is:

 Seminar 1
 What evidence do I see in this classroom that might address my question [or portions of my question]?

   What particular content or strategies in the Seminar are striking to me? Why?

    As I finish watching the video, what have I learned about myself as a teacher, about our students here at Franklin High
    School, or about teaching and learning? What new questions or insights do I have?

 Seminar 2
 What evidence do I see in this classroom that might address my question [or portions of my question]?

   What particular content or strategies in the Seminar are striking to me? Why?

    As I finish watching the video, what have I learned about myself as a teacher, about our students here at Franklin High
    School, or about teaching and learning? What new questions or insights do I have?

                                                                          Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                                                 August 27, 2007

         Speak loudly and dearly?
         Cite reasons and evidence for their statements?
         Use the text to find support?
         Listen to others respectfully?
         Stick with the subject?
         Talk to each other, not just to the leader?
         Paraphrase accurately?
         Avoid inappropriate language (slang, technical terms, sloppy diction, etc.)?
         Ask for help to clear up confusion?
         Support each other?
         Avoid hostile exchanges?
         Question others in a civil manner?
         Seem prepared?

2. Did the LEADER
         Get participants engaged early? How?
         Make sure that questions were understood?
         Ask questions that led to further questions?
         Use answers as the basis of follow-up questions?
         Allow for discussion of disagreements?
         Listen carefully to participants' statements?
         Accept participants' answers without judgment?
         Keeps attention on ideas in the text/art being discussed?
         Behave as a good model of seminar participation?
         Correct misreadings of the text?
         Allow time (pauses) for thinking?
         Draw out reasons and implications?
         Reach or not reach 'closure'?

3. In the course of the seminar
         What was the most interesting question?
         What was the most interesting Idea to come from a participant?
         What was the best thing you observed?
         What was the most troubling thing you observed?
         What did you think should be done differently in the next seminar

                                                                    Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                                           August 27, 2007
Socratic Seminar Observation
Collective Dialogue
A Reflective Experience

   1. Getting Started
       Participants complete and bring individual observation notes to share with the group

   2. Describing the Socratic Seminar
       The facilitator asks the group, “What did you see in the classroom observation?”
       Group members provide answers without making judgments about the quality of the
         Socratic Seminar or their professional preferences.
       If an interpretation or judgment emerges, the facilitator asks for the evidence on which it is

   3. Asking Questions About the Socratic Seminar
       The facilitator asks the group, “What questions does this observation raise for you about
         your leadership of Socratic Seminars?” Group members share their questions aloud with
         the group.
       The facilitator takes notes.

   4. Speculating about the Meaning/Significance of the Socratic Seminar
       The facilitator asks the group, “What is significant about this Socratic Seminar?” “What
         did the students gain from this Seminar?”
       Participants, based on this particular classroom observation, construct meaning about the
         insights, problems or issues that this observation presents regarding their own leadership of
         Socratic Seminars.

   5. Discussing Implications for Our Practice of Socratic Seminars
       The facilitator invites everyone to share any thoughts they have about ways this particular
         observation of a Socratic Seminar might influence their practice of Socratic Seminar

   6. Reflecting on the Collective Dialogue Protocol
       The group reflects on the experiences of or reactions to the protocol.

                                                   Franklin High School, Socratic Seminar
                                                                          August 27, 2007
Please answer the following questions:

After today, do you plan to use Socratic Seminars in your classroom?

What information about did you find most helpful about Socratic Seminars

What information do you still need in order to start using Socratic Seminars
i.e., what would keep you from using Socratic Seminars?

How can I (or someone else in the building) assist you to try Socratic

How can this presentation be improved in the future?


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