Socratic Seminars: Disassembled

By: M. Zaidel

A Socratic Seminar, more formally known as the Socratic Method, is a discussion and inquiry between individuals to stimulate critical thinking. In the educational environment, our high school freshman class arranged ourselves in a circle to discuss topics and ideas.

The goal of the Socratic Seminar is to engage participants in thought and elaborate together on ideas.

In our class Seminar, we discussed various topics about marginalization and bystanders. To set up this discussion, our teacher required us to order our thoughts and information into an unorganized fashion. The information that we had compiled was then to be organized as list to discuss.

All students conversed about marginalization and bystanders, expressing different point of views. When an agreement or a harmony between ideas arose, students further developed and elaborated. If a disagreement or contradiction arose, students noticed other point of views and processed how those conclusions were made.

Consequently, critical thinking was achieved during and after the Socratic Seminar.

Personally, I found the Seminar to be beneficial. At large, the Seminar enabled me to absorb other opinions and to ponder details that I had not found. Socratic Seminars are a way to empower discussion and extrapolation about any topic. I would recommend the use of Socratic Seminars for students, faculties, and government discussions.