I had such an exciting day
at school earlier this month! The students in my eighth grade honors English
language arts class at Eisenhower Middle School participated in a Socratic
Seminar. Socratic Seminars are based on the learning and discussion groups of
the ancient philosopher, Socrates. The Socratic Seminar is a formal discussion,
based on a text, in which the leader asks open-ended questions. Within the
context of the discussion, students listen closely to the comments of others,
think critically for themselves, and articulate their own thoughts and their
responses to the thoughts of others. On this particular day, my students
enjoyed discussing Captain Beatty's famous speech from Ray Bradbury's iconic
novel, Fahrenheit 451. As their teacher, I was able to take a step back and
listen to their thoughts and opinions of the text. It was a challenge for both
myself and the students to assume these new roles, but I think we both gained a
new appreciation for our learning community through this activity, and we'll
definitely be trying it again!
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