Critical Thinking Seminars

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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 SO bad cos I can’t remember the original source.

I’ll try to track it down, anyway, here is the modified PDF version (SOCRATIC SEMINAR MARKING CRITERIA (1)) if you wanna use it – it includes the teacher rubric, the peer-assessment sheet and the self-assessment sheet.

The first thing I did was put my students into teams based on ability (this was determined by assessment marks and my knowledge of each student) and allocated each team an academic reading on Henry IV: Part 1.

Students were then asked to read the article (highlight and annotate as they go) and then come up with one inquiry question they wanted to discuss with their team.

You can see the name of one of the articles and the student inquiry questions below: The process that we used for each Socratic Seminar is outlined below, as modified from the ACSA document and the Philosothon COI structure: I guess it’s a testament to my kids, or the culture of our class, but every student read their texts and showed up prepared to discuss it with their peers. Those articles were DAMN HARD and they just did it… Oh, I also forgot to say that each student had to add a five point summary of the article plus their three favourite quotes to a Google Doc in our Team Drive – they did this well too!

See one of my student’s summaries below: OK, so during the actual Socratic Seminar I assessed the students using a marking criteria that I found online and modified.

The goal is for them to have an informed, personal response to the text.

Right now my class and I are up to our necks in the critical frame!


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