Socratic
Seminar – Promoting Critical Thinking in Mathematics

Creative
questioning – the way how Socrates (ancient Athenian philosopher; teacher of
Plato and Xenophon (470-399 BC) be famous in his time. The process on how he
ask questions and follow ups about certain objects has been used until this
moment and preferably an effective way of motivating students to easily
understand mathematics.

Socratic
Method, a way of teaching by question and answer; used by Socrates to elicit
truths from his students is an essential teaching strategy in mathematics. The
students had given chance of expressing their concepts and ideas about a
certain n topic or issue (in mathematics) and continue the process by asking
questions related to given statements. Teachers are not a demonstrator but a
facilitator now. They just guide the process and ideas will never come from
them. Students will move their seats to form a circle in class so that they can
discuss the topic with each other face to face. This scene also promotes
equality with one another.

Here
are some of the guidelines that must be followed by the participants to meet
expectations on Socratic way. Effectively administering these standards will be
observed if this will be discussed before the start of discussion.

**“**

·
Participants must respect on another’s’ opinion

·
Participants do not have to raise their hands to
speak, but they must be corrupt

·
Participants address their fellow classmates by
name (name cards can be placed on the desks, if necessary) and should take
notes

·
Participant’s comments address the topic and do
not digress

·
Participants settle points of disagreement among
themselves. The teacher are not used as a source

**“**

Socratic Seminar for Mathematics by Karen
Koellner – Clark, L. Lynn Stallings, Sue A. Hoover

Socratic
Seminar is definitely a thought provoking technique and it develops higher –
order thinking skills (Lorin Anderson – student of Benjamin Bloom). It also
negates traditional classroom set up where students are merely listeners in a
patterned seats and all information will come from teachers. By this method
those ideas of students are highly expressed, discussed and appreciated, no
threat of discouragement. Those ideas which cannot be seen on a paper- and –
pencil assessment will be concretely performed.

Research
have shown that students who actively participates in this kind of teaching
strategy better understands mathematics lessons than those who are not. A
lesson will be more fruitful if objectives are met by efforts coming from
students. Critical thinking, for me is one of the best skills that we
mathematics teachers must develop on students. It is how they will critically
made decisions for their future. Be wise, Be Socratic.

Mr.
Kristoffer Aron D. Putungan

Master
of Science in Mathematics

University
of Batangas