“I just want them to grow in their confidence and I want them to know that being uncomfortable doesn’t mean something impossible. I want them to know the power of their voices and how special their thoughts are. I want them to be good listeners and compassionate with their spoken words” — Kerry Graham
In this episode, it is all about Socratic Seminars. Socratic Seminars is a teaching strategy to guide student-led discussion. This time, we are excited to have Kerry Graham joining us and sharing her experience in this strategy.
Kerry is not only a teacher but also a writer. She lives and kayaks in Baltimore, MD, USA, after graduating from Johns Hopkins University School of Education,. Kerry prioritizes laughter, compassion, and self-expression in her English classroom. She’s grateful for and humbled by her ten years as a public school teacher.
Show Notes with Selected Links
- [01:46] As a writer, the core message or feelings Kerry wants to deliver through her stories.
- [03:54] For Kerry, personally, how does she express her love to her students and let them know that she care about them?
- [05:35] In the high school Kerry is teaching is very diverse. 50% percent from Baltimore while the other 50 from the globe. Other than Baltimore, what are the countries the students came from? Do most schools in Baltimore have diverse population?
- [07:56] How did Kerry change her teaching approaches for diverse students?
- [10:18] What is Socratic Seminar?
- [11:21] Step by step how Kerry used Socratic Seminar in her own classroom.
- [15:50] How does Kerry assign students into groups?
- [16:40] The seating setup in Socratic Seminar.
- [18:40] Outer circle student’s tasks when observing inner circle discussion.
- [19:35] Example of the Socratic Seminar topics and the questions students came up with.
- [21:13] Is there any boundary for students when crafting their questions?
- [22:32] How many minutes does each group have for discussion? And how many students are there in a group?
- [24:43] The ways to help students stay on the track without diverging too much.
- [26:33] How does Kerry give feedback to her students in Socratic Seminar?
- [32:06] Kerry’s personal goals for students to learn in Socratic Seminar.
- [34:01] The most common mistake teacher made in Socratic Seminar and approaches to prevent it from happening.
- [37:00] 1 to 2 books that influence Kerry ‘s core values or thinking.
- [39:00] If Kerry has one superwoman power to change the education system in the US, what would it be?
- [41:26] Parting thoughts
Please go here
- What is your teaching goals personally for any student led discussion in your class?
What can you do tomorrow
- When there is a topic you want your students to discuss in class, try to ask them coming up their own questions before the class. In class discussion, give your students a safe space to speak without intervening too much.