Discussion Protocols - Sanford Inspire Program Learning Library

Socratic Circles1. (Back to Table of Contents). Time Required: 60-75 minutes. Purpose: The purpose of Socratic Seminar is to create a structured opportunity for ...
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Discussion Protocols


Dialogue Communities


Socratic Circles

Copyright © 2017 Arizona Board of Regents, All rights reserved • SanfordInspire.org

Dialogue Communities (Back to Table of Contents)

Time Required: 40-50 minutes Purpose: The purpose of dialogue communities is to provide a constructivist structure for students to engage with one another and create new learning. Dialogue communities help students to dig deeply into key concepts and texts in a way that is democratic and less instructor-directed. It also allows them the opportunity to create and codify – rather than receive – new knowledge. Procedure: 1. Instructor provides introduction to the topic or concept under examination. This may occur on the day of the dialogue community itself or during the previous class. 2. The dialogue community begins with students reading (and annotating) a short piece of text, viewing a short video, expressing agreement or disagreement with a series of statements, or engaging in some other short introductory activity. (5 minutes) 3. All members of the group have the opportunity to share reactions, pose questions, or express wonderings. (5 minutes) 4. The group leader makes note of these as the participants speak and identifies a theme or focus question(s) for further discussion. Before continuing, he/she checks with the group to determine if all agree that the question is worthy of further discussion. (3 minutes) 5. The group discusses the theme or focus question under consideration. Participants are encouraged to draw upon their experiences, prior knowledge, and text(s) under examination. Participants are encouraged to ask clarifying and probing questions to better understand their colleagues’ ideas. (15 minutes) 6. Either as a group or as a whole class, students have the opportunity to reflect and share their new thinking about the concept or topic under study, and how it relates to their professional identities as teachers. (10 minutes) Notes and Considerations: • Dialogue communities should consist of groups of 4-5 students. • When using the dialogue community structure, one student should take the role of group leader. Their job is to ensure that all group members are adhering to class norms, to synthesize the initial theme or focus question, and to pose additional questions if discussion stagnates. • If there is a particular question that the course instructor wants to make sure all groups discuss or consider, he/she may introduce it before dialogue groups begin their discussions. • The instructor must provide for some way for students to codify their new thinking during the debrief. Social media (WikiSpace, Jing, Weebly) may be a good space for this.

Copyright © 2017 Arizona Board of Regents, All rights reserved • SanfordInspire.org

Socratic Circles1 (Back to Table of Contents)

Time Required: 60-75 minutes Purpose: The purpose of Socratic Seminar is to create a structured opportunity for students to engage in critical, collaborative dialogue. The inner circle engages in a dialogical exchange where students explore and complicate a pedagogical concept or topic through the use of critical reading and questioning. The outer circle observes the behavior of the inner circle and provides feedback on how ideas are communicated, with the goal of helping all participants to become more rigorous, respectful, and democratic in the way that they communicate and examine ideas. Procedure: 7. The instructor chooses a text to use as the subject for a Socratic seminar. The “text” may be an article, an excerpt from an article, a video clip, or an audio recording. The text should be thematically connected to a concept that the instructor wants students to explore as part of the course. 8. Prior to the class in which the Socratic Seminar will take place, students read and carefully annotate (or take notes on) the text. The instructor may frame the reading of the text with an essential question, or merely urge st