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Democratic Dialogue - The Socratic dialogue

Who

Democratic Dialogue - The Socratic dialogue

Why

To establish a constructive dialogue, to promote the critical thinking of youngsters (a way to dialogue about sensitive topics)

What

Is based on the Socratic Method what is a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions. The participants choose the questions and all opinions are worth to investigate.

 

The facilitator does not judge, asks for arguments, explores the consequences, clarifies, repeats, generalizes, analyses and makes abstraction, uncovers logical fallacies and examines contradictions.

 

Some rules:
• The participants sit in a circle such that everyone can hear and see one another.
• The debate is held in a quiet area with minimal distractions.
• A session should not be too long, as thinking is not a punishment.
• The group is comprised of maximum 15 or 20 participants.
• No one is obliged to participate actively.

 

Target group: all ages (with children, youngsters, teachers, social workers, …).

How

Selection

our students at the university college of Brussels who are following the teaching program or external schools/organisations who are asking a workshop socratic dialogue

Preparation
No pre-training were held. We only mention that all opinions are worth and everybody is free to join the group session

Training,
Ideally, the participants are trained in the argumentation theory

Supervision,
Supervised monthly in groups by the facilitator

Managed by the facilitator, a ‘Dialogue Coach’.

Effect/Assessment

This is an effective dialogue method based on students and teachers feedback. It is also implemented in some schools in Brussels.

When

This method can be used at the beginning of a youth dialogue process to increase the commitment of the participants and to ensure that we reach a level of open dialogue where all sensitive topics can be discussed.

Resources

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