Author Archives: Oscar

My mentor, Dennis Gray, worked for San Diego City Schools in the mid 1980s to mid 1990s. Under the direction of then superintendent, Dr. Tom Payzant, he was to train as many teachers as he could in Socratic Seminar Leadership Skills. I was lucky enough to be one of those…

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At Socratic Seminars International, we promote dialogue and NOT debate in our Socratic Seminars. When a Socratic Seminar is rich in dialogue, participants reveal assumptions for examination and reevaluation. My experience in introducing and practicing dialogue with students and adults has made me realize that many of us are not…

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One of the vital parts of a well-run Socratic Seminar at any grade level is to be sure to present and review the Ground Rules or Guidelines for Socratic Seminar participants. This step can easily be skipped in the daily rush of classroom life. Be sure to not skip it…

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A regular refrain of our presenters at our workshops is “It takes 6-8 seminars with reflection on process before you and your students start to get it, the ‘it’ being civility and thoughtfulness.” At the end of each and every Socratic Seminar it is important to have the students reflect on…

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Yes. let’s be honest. Leading an engaging, civil, and thoughtful Socratic Seminar is difficult! If it were easy, we would see Socratic Seminars flourishing in every classroom in every school. We don’t. This is why it is called the art and practice of Socratic Seminar leadership. Like all things in…

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Whether you are new to Socratic Seminars or you have been leading them for years, reflection is one of the keys for improving both leadership of Socratic Seminars as well as participation. Here is  our four part YouTube series, the Four Elements of Socratic Seminars. If you a new to Socratic…

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“Be the change you want to see in the world” Gandhi’s words apply to our efforts to engage students in deep, meaningful, and lasting conversations. Whether you are a first-year teacher or a 30-year teacher, it is likely that you have been rocked by that unplanned classroom moment that can…

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  “Six Types of Socratic Questions” “Socratic Seminar Starters: Summarizing, Analyzing, and Evaluating Ideas” “Socratic Seminar Bingo” Yes, gaining the explicit knowledge of Socratic Seminar is useful, important, and valuable. It is just not enough… Successful leadership of Socratic Seminar requires tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is procedural. It is gained…

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