Socratic Seminar explanation by xiangpeng


									On Tuesday (tomorrow), you’ll be
participating in a Socratic Seminar

      Topic: Early Chinese Philosophies
       Daoism, Legalism & Confucianism
     What is a Socratic Seminar?
A Socratic seminar is a way of teaching founded
  by the Greek philosopher
  Socrates…remember him?!

Socrates believed that:
students learn best by asking questions.

It is NOT the teacher’s job to lead the
   discussion, but only to moderate the
  Why do we have Socratic Seminars
• Socratic Seminars help us
  to examine a document
  (or parts of several
  documents) as a class.

• When we work together
  to understand a text it
  will help everyone’s
 So, how do we prepare for a Socratic
• You will be given a preparation worksheet with:
   1. 3 short primary sources
   2. Socratic Seminar prep steps 1 – 4

• Your job is to complete steps 1 – 4 of your prep
  worksheet for homework (please use a separate piece of
  paper to complete this part!)

• It is essential you read the text and prepare
  yourself with important questions and quotations.
 What type of questions should I ask
        during the seminar?
• Mrs. Bertram will
  provide you with
  several question

• Please write 5
  questions using these
  prompts (this is step
  4 of prep worksheet).
  What will the seminar look like?
• When you arrive tomorrow, the classroom will be arranged in a

• You may sit wherever you’d like (so long as you are focused,
  quiet, respectful and engaged in the seminar).

• Mrs. Bertram will stamp your homework (completed prep

• Mrs. Bertram will start the Socratic Seminar by asking a single

• Students will then guide the remainder of the conversation.

• Everyone is required to speak at least once.
How does the discussion work in a
            • The seminar is to serve
              as a discussion, not a

              • Just like in a casual
                conversation, no one
                begins the conversation,
                a conversation begins
                 Seminar Guidelines
• Please listen and look at each other when you

• One person speaks at a time.

• Each person will have a chance to ask a

• Respond to the person who asks the question.

• Use evidence from the text to support yourself.

• Always treat each other with mutual respect.
            How will I be graded?
•   By completing the seminar prep worksheet.

•   By contributing to the conversation following these

    – Ask a question

    – Respond to a question

    – Cite evidence from the text
        Socratic Seminar Guidelines
• Be prepared to participate

• Don’t raise hands

• Invite others into the discussion

• Refer to the text

• Comments must be appropriate/respectful/focused

• Listen to and build on one another’s comments

• Remember: There are no stupid questions! We are all learning about
 Opening question:

What core values are these
 documents promoting?
            Another question:
In Early China, the time between 403 B.C. to 221
B.C. is called the “Period of the Warring States”.
Daoism, Legalism & Confucianism were philosophies
developed to (hopefully) create a peaceful society.

  How might the values described in
 these pieces help create a “peaceful”
      Post-seminar question:

Ancient Chinese philosophers tried to solve the
      problems of their times with specific
 beliefs. Think of a problem in today’s society.

  Briefly describe how a legalist, a Confucian,
and a Daoist thinker would solve that problem.

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