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Critical Thinking with Socratic Seminars

Key Questions and Comments 

Think about how much more powerful this activity is for students compared to a more traditional textbook activity.  Not only are students becoming experts on certain issues, they are also developing critical thinking skills at the same time.  

This activity fits well into a Social Studies class.  Can you think of ways that you could adjust the activity to fit into a different subject area?  

Mrs. Busby discusses how this activity relates to real events and situations in the outside world. As educators, it is important to always consider this as we plan lessons and activities for students. 

What type of expectations and procedures might you put in place before engaging in an activity similar to this one?


The student feedback from Socratic Seminars is very positive.  Why do you think that students enjoy this process?

Description of Video
Watch as Sarah Busby, Social Studies teacher at Falcon High School, discusses how she uses Socratic Seminars in her class to help develop critical thinking.  ​​

0:06 Teacher discussion of the basics of the Socratic Seminar
1:00 The role of the student
1:29 Socratic Seminar in action
1:45 The critical thinking involved in Socratic Seminar
3:08 The setup of the Socratic Seminar
4:07 The role of the teacher
4:29 The benefits from this activity ​​

Socratic Seminars
Critical Thinking
The Role of the Teacher

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