What is Paideia Seminar?
- Paideia Seminar is a collaborative discussion facilitated with open-ended questions about a text.
- It is a process taken from the basic idea of Socratic discussion. This type of discussion is structured to enhance both individual and group understanding and thinking. It also helps to develop both social and critical thinking skills for all students. Paideia Seminar requires that students listen actively and respectfully. Seminars may take place at any point during a unit of study and in any subject area. It also can be done with individuals of any age.
- Paideia Seminar supports our school’s instructional focus of oral language development.
Seminar in Practice
• Seminar involves all students in a whole class discussion with students seated in a circle either on chairs or on the floor.
• With the teacher as facilitator, students identify both group and individual goals based on the seminar rules and guidelines and reflect on these goals after seminar is finished. These goals may include things such as speaking at least one time, making eye contact with the speaker, taking turns or using text evidence when speaking.
• Students are expected to use sentence frames when speaking such as, I think____because____ or I agree(disagree) with______ because_______.
• Seminar questions are grouped into 3 types: Opening questions that identify the main idea or values in the text, Core Questions that closely analyze the details of the text and Closing Questions designed so that participants personally evaluate the ideas and values in
• Often a post seminar writing activity follows the seminar. This provides an added means for students to express their thoughts who may not have expressed them fully in the group discussion.
• ENL staff and para professionals also take part in seminars to support the students they service.