Critical Thinking Seminars

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I’m going to type them up this weekend and pop them up on our class Google Drive.

Socratic Seminars: Now, a week or two ago someone on Twitter shared a link to the ACSA PDF on Socratic Seminars… I used this, plus the new rules for Philosothon Communities of Inquiry, to design the Socratic Seminar process for my students.

They also learn how to collaborate, talk about, and reflect on what they're reading, to make meaning independently and together.

Seminars can be done in English class and across the curriculum, using social studies documents or math problems as the texts under discussion.

After that presentation, I wrote up on the board the two debates to be held the next lesson, and they chose which theories they wanted to represent.

See the image below for my the two debate topics and (ugly) outline of how the debates would be structured.

I also had the outer circle students take notes on a collaborative Google Doc, recording the interesting points raised by each student.

This was important as it made sure the students not in the dialogue were actively listening, and also provides an excellent source of ideas for extended responses when we prepare for the HSC exam!

I’m currently teaching Henry IV: Part 1 to my year 12 Advanced English class for Critical Study of Literature.

Like many teachers, I approach this module through the Frames, taken from the Visual Arts syllabus.


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