Event Title

Teaching Students how to Teach Themselves: Socratic Seminars in the ELA Classroom

Faculty Advisor

Leah Nillas

Graduation Year

2020

Location

Room E104, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

4-4-2020 10:45 AM

End Date

4-4-2020 11:00 AM

Description

In high school ELA classrooms, spaces to improve the reflective writing practices and critical thinking skills of students in literature is constantly evolving. In a quickly adapting digital world it is an ongoing hurdle for teachers to aid in student’s abilities to understand the literature they are being taught. I incorporated Socratic seminars into my secondary education English classes in order to study how to overcome this. According to Tredway (1995), the Socratic method refers to “a form of structured discourse about ideas and moral dilemmas” (p. 26). This research is the result of my self-study to understand which pieces of teaching would be most vital for Socratic seminars in order to improve student’s critical and literary skills. The data was lesson plans, teacher field and anecdotal records, and a survey sent to the students. For the purposes of this research, I examined my field observation notes taken from English II and English I classes of about thirty students at the average course level to assess how the difference in knowledge based on grade level may provide insight into how students progressed throughout the semester. Socratic seminars as a supplementary form of instruction significantly improved literary and analysis skills.

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Apr 4th, 10:45 AM Apr 4th, 11:00 AM

Teaching Students how to Teach Themselves: Socratic Seminars in the ELA Classroom

Room E104, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

In high school ELA classrooms, spaces to improve the reflective writing practices and critical thinking skills of students in literature is constantly evolving. In a quickly adapting digital world it is an ongoing hurdle for teachers to aid in student’s abilities to understand the literature they are being taught. I incorporated Socratic seminars into my secondary education English classes in order to study how to overcome this. According to Tredway (1995), the Socratic method refers to “a form of structured discourse about ideas and moral dilemmas” (p. 26). This research is the result of my self-study to understand which pieces of teaching would be most vital for Socratic seminars in order to improve student’s critical and literary skills. The data was lesson plans, teacher field and anecdotal records, and a survey sent to the students. For the purposes of this research, I examined my field observation notes taken from English II and English I classes of about thirty students at the average course level to assess how the difference in knowledge based on grade level may provide insight into how students progressed throughout the semester. Socratic seminars as a supplementary form of instruction significantly improved literary and analysis skills.