1/31/2013 Paideia/Socratic Seminar and LDC

Viewed by: Wes Swanson and Doug Dandridge

  • Build an understanding of the what, why and how of Paideia/Socratic Seminars
  • Show how a Socratic Seminar can enhance your LDC module or “stand alone” as an instructional strategy
  • Provide practical tips and resources to get started

Points to Consider:
  • This strategy is used to engage students in text based conversations about a certain topic
  • Paideia is synonymous with Socratic Seminar. It is a sister strategy to a class debate, only this approach is text based.
  • Gives ownership to students to own the conversation. Teacher does the planning, but during the lesson simply becomes a guide.
  • This strategy is tied to the Danielson Observation rubric (our observation tool) Domain 3b. It gives a strategy to move a teacher from Proficient to Distinguished on the rubric by encouraging students to ask higher level questions and allowing the students to take ownership of the conversation and the teacher is on the side facilitating.

Summation: The paideia/socratic seminar is an effective way to motivate student thinking about a text in an in depth manner. The many resources offered below allow the teacher to more effectively plan, create and facilitate the seminar in a way that is structured and meaningful. The paideia seminar ultimately leads to more sophisticated student inquiry.


Paideia Script - VERY USEFUL TOOL for implementing a Paideia module the first few times.

Seminar Script, and resources:

Example Seminars:

Article about Paideia: