Capstone/Dissertation Title

Understanding how the Socratic method of learning affects critical reading in tenth grade students

Term

2006

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Abstract

My research study came about when I taught a class of 9th grade theater students. Many of the students had the inability to think independently or ask the right questions, so I decided to use the Socratic method to encourage critical as well as independent reading skills. My review of literature showed me that the Socratic method could be a powerful tool in getting the students to read deeply and then start finding answers by asking the right questions. Students use critical reading skills to understand the text, and then they use student driven Socratic Circles to ask and answer their questions about the text. The results indicate that most students benefit from the student driven Socratic Circles when the text is a short piece. By relying on each other, the students were forced to think for themselves rather than a teacher giving them the answers.

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