Socratic Seminar days are some of my favorite times spent in the classroom. After having them prep the class period (or two) before, I sit back and listen to their brilliance (while grading of course!). Even after teaching this course about 6 times, I still learn something new from my students every session. They think critically, ask good questions, and build on one another’s line of reasoning. It’s a beautiful thing to behold.
This resource includes a few essentials for conducting excellent student-driven, inquiry-based discussions in the Economics classroom. Check out the details below.
- : I explain my method of conducting two different types of Socratic Seminars: text-based (whole period) and research-based (mini sessions). I also outline when to use each resource and explain my method of grading. I do not include a rubric because I have tried using them and find them arduous when I’m trying to keep up with the discussion. I’ve found a simpler, yet effective way to grade which I explain here.
- : Before you conduct your first Socratic Seminar, your students need to know what it’s all about and what it should look like. This handout provides an overview of the purpose behind Socratic Seminars and gives your students guidelines to follow for success.
- : This is a short packet for period-long, text-based Socratic Seminars. It guides your students through the process of creating their own questions to drive the Socratic Seminar based on the text you’ve chosen and given them to read ahead of time. Questions are broken down into the following categories: content-based, application, and Economic & Real World. There is also space for a reflection for students to fill out after the Socratic Seminar is finished.
- : If you’d like to conduct a research-based Seminar where you divide your students into 3-4 teams, there’s a packet for this as well. You will need to give students a topic and essential question. From there students will have space for their research notes, organizing their thoughts before the Seminar, reflections on the other team’s sessions, and reflections on their own sessions. I’ve also included a version that focuses on 4 topics surrounding the intersection of business and ethics. For that version only, I supplied essential questions I use in my own classroom.
- Student access to computers and printers for researching or a text provided by the teacher
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