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Socratic Discourse: Preparing the Environment for Thinking, Listening, & Speaking

Presenter: Barb Scholtz
For: Teachers of Secondary I & II students
CPD Hours: 1.5
Available: On Demand

Individual Rental Group Rental


This presentation is available for a 30-day rental via Vimeo On Demand, allowing you to view the webinar at any time, as often as you would like, within your rental period.

$55/individual (Certificate of Continuing Professional Development for 1 person) 
$200/group (CPD certificates for up to 20 persons)


In this refresher course for Montessori Secondary teachers who are familiar with conducting structured discussions with their students, you will be invited to examine key components of successful Socratic discussions* with adolescents. After a review of relevant background information, the focus will turn to preparatory lessons, choosing appropriate texts, and writing and clustering questions as the “prepared environment” for discussion.

Along the way, presenter Barb Scholtz will:

  • Review background on this pedagogy, initially described by Mortimer J. Adler in The Paideia Proposal: An Educational Manifesto
  • Share Adler’s ideas about what seminar is and is not
  • Review and discuss Adler’s description of appropriate seminar texts
  • Discuss writing appropriate questions
  • Provide “before, during, and after” structures to facilitate inclusive seminars
  • Offer opportunities for you to read a short text, draft questions for sharing with the group, and ask questions

In addition, she will share resources that you can use to further enhance the implementation of seminar in your classroom.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Learn background information about Mortimer Adler’s writing on “The Conduct of Seminar”
  • Learn how to prepare the environment for student success by considering structuring activities before, during, and after the actual discussion
  • Have a short essay and related questions to use with your Secondary students

* Barb notes that during the webinar, she will refer to this pedagogy by interchangeably using all of these terms: Socratic discussion, Socratic seminar, Paideia seminar, discourse, seminar, seminar discussion.

About the Presenter

Barb Scholtz, MEd, is an instructor, field consultant, and practicum director at Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program. AMS-credentialed (Secondary I – II ).

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