Socratic Circles with Backchannel


The students come to class having read a passage from a text and having prepared some questions or points for discussion about it. The teacher arranges the classroom seating into two concentric circles. The students in the inner circle discuss and analyse the text while the students in the outer circle remain silent, observing and commenting on the discussion via short electronic messages projected on a screen in the classroom.

This technique has been referred to as “Socratic Circles” or “Socratic Seminar” with “Backchannel,” and it is described and demonstrated (in an 8th grade classroom) at this site. Have any philosophy professors tried this at the college level?

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