Facilitate Deep Learning and Student Engagement through Socratic Questioning


Extract from Issue#11 of Teaching Tuesdays@CSU

All issues of Teaching Tuesdays can be accessed through the folder at this link

By Julie Schrock, PhD and Steven Benko PhD

Source: https://www.magnapubs.com/magna-commons/?video=14550
(How to subscribe: Staff with a CSU email address can obtain the Magna Commons CSU subscription code from Ellen McIntyre elmcintyre@csu.edu.au)

Socratic questioning: the instructor’s role is to ask questions to lead to deep, disciplined and focused thinking by the student.

This compares to the presenters’ description of the “typical questioning” IRE Model:
Initiation (by the instructor), Response (by the student), and Evaluation (by the instructor)

The major part of this 48-minute webinar is taken up with a series of short video clips in which the presenters model Socratic questioning techniques. After each clip, they respond to questions from the attendees with the result being a highly engaging and informative workshop that you can replay to develop your own understanding of which questions to ask, and why.

Their model for questioning is based on Paul and Elder’s Universal Structures of Thought (click on the diagram, at left, for larger view). For further information see the Foundation for Critical Thinking website, or download Elder and Paul’s sample booklet on Analytical Thinking.

QUOTE: This way of questioning really brings out difference, and different points of views and different opinions and perspective. So students, I think, are more eager to jump in, because they want their own point of view represented and they want to be heard.

Universal Structures of Thought. Whenever we think

  1. We think for a PURPOSE
  2. within a POINT OF VIEW
  3. based on ASSUMPTIONS
  5. We use INFORMATION (data, facts and experiences)
  7. based on CONCEPTS and THEORIES
  8. to answer a QUESTION or solve a PROBLEM.

The accompanying videos model questioning techniques based on each of these eight interconnected points. They run from 7:30 min to 17:30 min, and from 22:30 min to 42:00 min in the recording and each video is followed by a debriefing commentary. The supplementary PDF for this webinar provides sample questions that you might use to draw out each of these different elements in student responses. This webinar is designed to get you thinking and its structure means that you can view repeatedly to cement your own learning of the different questioning rationales.