COLLEGE SOCRATIC SEMINARS:
12 Basic Questions & Film.
Every lesson plan in this textbook on College Socratic Seminars is based on the assumption that students, not teachers, are the primary agents in learning. The corollary is that authentic learning is active learning. The consequence is that students become responsible for their own learning.
This book divides into four units: Part I (Ch. 1-8) The Socratic Method of Teaching and Learning defines, illustrates, and demonstrates how to implement Socratic Seminars, Part II (Ch. 10-13) focuses on four basic questions of interpretation: Has the American Dream become an illusion? When do you need family most? When does romantic love grow into mature love? Who are your real friends? Part III (Ch. 14-15) centers on two basic questions: Can we forget that we are human? and Is today’s technology as much a curse as a blessing? (Ch. 15-16). Part IV (Ch. 16-20) asks How important is God in your life? Why do bad things happen to good people? How does a parent cope with the death of a child? Why does law sometime fail to achieve justice? and Do we all have the same unconditional right to life? The Afterword asks Why do we continue to read and study Great Books? In each chapter, two or three Great Book authors take up a basic interpretive question followed by related non-fiction readings.
Whenever possible, I use film versions of novels, stories, play, and poems to make them more accessible to today's students who are so visual. Since a film is itself an interpretation, this teaching unit also explains how to use film to bring some of these stories to life through comparison- contrast discussion, writing, and research on current events.
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