Jump to navigation. We tend to think the purpose of education is to provide answers—the information needed to function productively. On the one hand, this is true. But, on the other hand, as with all important human activities, it is not the only purpose. In fact, this pragmatic view is simultaneously the least important as well as the most significant of them all.
This statement might seem paradoxical, but as we shall see, it really is not. Looking at it from an angle that is unusual in our utilitarian age, let us begin by considering the possibility that the purpose of education is not to acquire answers, but to develop the ability to ask questions.
Odyssey Study Guides & Socratic Seminar Questions
There is a wealth of information available about philosophies and methods of education, but as Christians the first source we need to consult is the Bible. What can we learn about questions in Scripture? It seems audaciously inappropriate for us, but here God beckons us to engage in argumentation with Him. But how does one engage in a persistent debate with the Creator? How does one reason with God about Truth? No doubt, the answer is as profound and complex as the question itself, but one thing seems certain: it is important that we note Isaiah and take it to heart.
The Lord invites us to reason with Him. If we are to do this, we must apply ourselves not only to learning what it means, but also to practicing it. In what manner are we to carry this out? No, he would not press charges against me. There an upright man could present his case before him, and I would be delivered forever from my judge. Job yearns to query God—to learn why he is being chastised. It is important to notice, therefore, how God responds.
Does God respond to Job with answers? God responds with more questions! And what is the nature of the questions? Ask questions about my creation, says the Lord, and thereby discover the character and awesome glory of your Creator.
Here the Lord models the importance of questioning in education. God does not give Job any answers, but instructs Job through questioning.You can feel your heart knocking on the walls of your chest, and every breath, no matter how deep you try to make it, shallows out into arrhythmic, nervous panting. You're clutching a pack of note cards in one hand and a book filled cover to cover with a rainbow of sticky notes in the other.
The Socratic Seminar: we have all breathed in the anxiety that flushes in with just a glance of the classroom, organized in daunting circles of desks. Though school inevitably brings about stress into the student's life, could it be that one of the heavily weighted assessments is actually quite flawed? Now, don't get me wrong: the Socratic Seminar as inspired by the famous philosopher Socrates, in theory, could be an effective and wonderful vehicle for discussion, one of the very most essential skills curated by the classroom and definitely my favorite part of class: I love being able to vocalize my ideas and learn from others in an easy-going environment.
Socrates believed "in the power of asking questions, prize inquiry over information and discussion over debate. Students are given the opportunity to share their ideas, whether it be about symbolism in literature or about important political and social issues that we might not otherwise be exposed to; after all, school is the most prominent socializing agent apart from the family to the student.
Socratic Seminars should provide an open, civil and meaningful platform for students. Unfortunately, the Socratic Seminar as hosted by the classroom has more flaws than most of us are willing to admit. The Socratic Seminar can have the atmosphere of a battleground, where only the most assertive classmates successfully cash in their minimum time to talk within the twenty minutes given.
Ironic, since the same classroom without a grade book in the teacher's hand is quieter than crickets during daily, ungraded discussions. However, in a Socratic, as soon as the teacher trails off their last words of the prompting question, an immediate cacophony of voices head-butt into each other, raising volumes to compete for space to talk.
You simply can't help it: the Socratic usually has the worth of a major assessment, which puts a lot of pressure on your average. If you want to survive, you'll have to fight back with your voice. This almost suffocating setting was obviously not a purpose of the seminar's original design, which was supposed to be a effectual learning experience. Instead, Socratic Seminars often foster an uncomfortable mood, as students may actively defend and debate their point of view without considering the suggestions of others, cutting off effective communication.
Thus, this kind of egocentric mindset tends to follow teenagers in their daily conversations, and as they venture into more social and political issues independently as they grow into adults, they risk developing close-minded attitudes that cannot be so easily opened up again. Furthermore, despite how many annotations you may have, no matter how thought-out and insightful your ideas are, they may all get lost in the wind as the time ticks away mercilessly, as the same students continue dominating the floor and as the discussion topic trails away from the quote you've been eyeing.
Shy or introverted students, while they may even be better prepared, can become extremely anxious, nervous and even exhausted by the seminar's quite aggressive nature that favors fierceness over timidness. Maybe once in a while, they'll part their lips in effort to get a comment out there, but afraid to publicly embarrass themselves with an underwhelming comment, inevitably sulk into their seats in silence with their grade at stake.
What kind of lesson does this teach those who fail to speak up over all the clamoring voices? What kind of lesson can they learn if they aren't given any opportunity to even speak? At the same time, perhaps the fundamental flaws of the Socratic don't even begin with the discussion itself, but in fact, its preparation. Hear me out: annotating and doing research on a topic are excellent ways to prepare for a discussion. However, every student knows that the only way to survive a Socratic is to weed out evidence for the assessment beforehand.
The general formula for a comment then becomes, "yeah, I agree with Student's comment, so if you look on page xxx, Character says, 'Interesting quote that I may or may not have only picked because it was on Sparknotes.
Once we count down the number of times we need to speak in order to get a maximum grade for participation, we just withdraw from the conversation. This is all not to say that high school students are simply incapable of having brilliantly insightful thoughts: everyone has the capacity to share these ideas as well, and some can even thrive well in Socratic.
But the means for discussion provided complicate and ultimately distort the conversation into a debate where not everyone can prove their abilities. The Socratic Seminar is flawed, and perhaps it needs to change—or even cease existing. Welcome back.
Sign in to comment to your favorite stories, participate in your community and interact with your friends. The Socratic Seminar Is Flawed. Though school inevitably brings about stress into the student's life, could it be that one of the most heavily weighted assessments is actually quite flawed? Johns Creek, Georgia. Subscribe to our Newsletter Thank you for signing up!
Check your inbox for the latest from Odyssey. This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator. Subscribe to our Newsletter. Community Water Scarcity in Context.Need more help? Read questions and answers from fellow students below. If you're question hasn't already been asked, ask it now.
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Asked by Anonymous on 17th December, I need a strong, analytical question for "Searching for Summer" by Joan Aiken.Argue against the claim that The Odyssey ought to be read as a tragedy because of all the pain inflicted upon its protagonist, Odysseus.
Although Odysseus' name means "Son of Pain" and he is made to suffer greatly before achieving his nostos homecomingthe fact remains that he ultimately does achieve nostos. When he returns to Ithaca, he finds that his immediate family has remained faithful to him, and is able to reclaim his rightful place as the king of Ithaca. Although the amount of hardship he has had to endure may make such an outcome seem implausible, the implausibility is better explained by the epic nature of the work, rather than by calling it a tragedy.
Works like The Odyssey offer us insight into the customs and beliefs of the ancient cultures that produced them. Describe one such custom that The Odyssey makes clear was important in ancient Greece. One example of such a custom is that of hospitality: it was thought that guests might always be gods in disguise, and therefore ought to be treated with the utmost respect.
To this end, guests were often fed, clothed, and so forth, prior to the host asking after their lineage and purpose in their land. Although Odysseus has character flaws and may not hold what we consider a modern conception of justice, he does seem to act justly in most regards. He only deceives Polyphemus after Polyphemus has rejected the custom of a guest-gift and eaten several of Odysseus' men; he only disguises himself in Ithaca in order to test his family and the suitors.
And, perhaps the most important piece of evidence in favor of his being just, he only punishes those servants and suitors who wronged his household while he was away; he lets the innocent live. Although Odysseus has many affairs on his journey home, the implication is always that he had to do so in order to progress towards home; there were many moments when it would have been easier for him to give up or surrender, but he never truly lost sight of home.
The year he spent with Circe might be seen as a counterexample to this; nonetheless, the fact remains that he returned to his quest and did not forsake his homeland. At minimum, it is evident that the text's notion of fidelity is not reducible to something as simple as sexual relations. Many servants of Ithaca betrayed Odysseus and sided with the suitors, but the "principle players" of his homeland -- the Swineherd, Telemachus, Penelope, Argos, and Laertes -- remained faithful to him despite his absence.
This fidelity is symbolized best by Argos, who seemingly staved off death until he could see his master home safely.
Odyssey Seminar Questions
Penelope, too, could easily have remarried, and was under tremendous pressure to do so; yet she employed every possible means of keeping the suitors at bay in order to continue waiting for her true husband to return to her.
Argos can be seen as a symbol for the fidelity loyalty of Odysseus' household while Odysseus was away. How do the Lotus eaters pose a threat to Odysseus and his men? The home of the Lotus Eaters is a magical place, where a plant can make you forget your yearning to go home.
How does Odysseus display the characteristics of an archetypal hero in his encounter with the Cicones? Odysseus responds to the Cicones with brute force. He and his crew kill, raid, and plunder.When the term is brought up in classrooms extroverts see a chance to get a "free grade" for speaking and introverts internally groan while trying to figure out a million ways to get out of speaking.
Whether you're a fan of this form of class discussion or not, the practice dated back to the fifth Century B. C is an important one that should be integrated into every classroom. According to The University of Chicago website, the Socratic Method is the process of seeking the answers and opinions of colleagues, through continuous questioning and discourse, and finding a contradiction to an original answer.
This process breaks apart the unrealistic idea that there is only ever a right answer or a wrong answer. Students who learn how to effectively communicate during these seminars are better communicators and thinkers.
When participating in these group discussions, basic communication skills are gained that can help better a person's thought process as well as aid those around them in advancing their own ideas.
This is a mutually beneficial practice to those who find strength in participating in verbal discourse, and those who are looking to gain that strength.
The Odyssey Essay Questions
When students are having, trouble putting together their thoughts about something they have read, watched or encountered, a Socratic Seminar allows them to hear the ideas of their peers which in return can help them pinpoint their own ideas and add to the discussion. This is not the only benefit though, let's say as an example, the discussion is on the topic of a poem that each person has read.
The Socratic process allows for different interpretations to be heard and discussed, which broadens the mind of each and every participant. According to Facing History and Ourselves, Socratic Seminars are an important way to teach students, "how to listen to one another, make meaning, and find common ground while participating in a conversation. Dialogue being exploratory and involving the suspension of biases and prejudices.
As Americans, there is fault and weakness in being able to dialogue effectively, due to the emphasis of arguing for the sake of winning. In a heated time period filled with polar opposite views on things like politics, many topics lead to debate.
The United States was a quarrelsome and hostile environment leading up to and following the election, which according to AOL. American discussion of politics is a precise example of why the skills gained in Socratic Seminars are crucial. Children from a young age leading right into their adult years of college education need to learn how to have healthy dialogue and share opinions without leading to the end of relationships, or the abandonment of friends and family.
This is the exact reason that primary, secondary, and higher education needs to require students to gain this type of skill through the process of the Socratic Method. Society teaching its students that facing a problem with right versus wrong rather than allowing them to learn to seek out knowledge and questions rather than just the answer is the problem.Helpful handouts for students and teachers.
Draft Workday Checklist. Introductory Techniques. Nine Sentence Patterns. Run-On sentences handout. Transition Words. Transition Words Poster. Writing Reflection. Writing Reflection Tool - thanks to Bonnie Fulton. Alliteration - Thanks Greg Williams. AP English Poetry Terms. Figurative Language handout.
Poetry Terms Presentation Rubric. Poetic Devices. Line Breaks How do I know where the line breaks should go in a poem? Poetry Unit with sample poems. Themed Poetry Book. Career Research Career Research Assignments. Occupational Information Sheet. Persuasive Writing 6-point rubric.
Persuasive Techniques. Voting Age assignment sheet and graphic organizer. Answer Sheet. Summarize, Paraphrase, or Direct Quotation. What is Plagiarism at Indiana University? What is Plagiarism? Draft 1 Check Poetry Analysis. Explication 1 Revision Help Sheet. Explication 2 Revision Help Sheet personal choice poem. Final Poetry Analysis Assignment. Poetry Analysis Revision. Speaker and Character in Poetry. Character Analysis Outline. Interpretation Worksheet. Lit Analysis Planning Guide.
Major Literature Review Organizer. Cassel's Blank Outline. Graphic Organizer. Tone Graphic Organizer.Come to class prepared to discuss these topics. You need to take notes on each of these questions. Refer to the handout giving characteristics of the seminar to prepare for the discussion.
Why is this prominent in the epic? Why and in what ways do humans honor the gods? How would you handle this situation?Questioning in a Socratic Seminar
Find some examples from your reading. Make some connections to examples today regarding people with too much pride. What characteristics does he display that you would consider heroic. Compare him to modern-day heroes.
Do you think the Greeks believed their myths? What about religious world views?
What are their characteristics, special powers, personality, etc? What could their persona say about human nature? Talk about how the gods interacted with humans and vice versa. Remember the Greeks created these gods and their stories. Consequently, what do we learn about manners of the time? Why might that be? Give some specific examples. Can you relate this to anything in our lives today?
What is the point of the horrible carnage of book XXII? Discuss this with reference to events of our own century and your own lifetime.
If so, what are they? If not, why do you think that is? As far as we can tell, The Odyssey was immensely popular in ancient Greece. How does it differ from popular entertainment today? Are there any ways in which it is similar? Learn more about Scribd Membership Home. Read Free For 30 Days. Much more than documents.
Questions for Socratic Seminars
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