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Socratic Dialogue

Who

Erasmus Hogeschool Brussel

Why

In dept dialogue about societal issues.

What

The practice consist of a dialogue model to establish a constructive dialogue, based on open questions, to promote the critical thinking of a group.

The Socratic Method 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.

How

It is delivered as a training program, an intermission model or on a one-to-one counseling.

When

This method can be used at the beginning of a process to increase the commitment of the participants and to ensure to reach a level of open dialogue where all topics can be discussed in an open and constructive atmosphere.

Effect

It is already implemented in the curriculum of different teacher training faculties in university colleges in Brussels. Teachers report great results in schools in Brussels in terms of connecting young people and installing a constructive atmosphere.

Assessment

Effectiveness:

High degree / regularly

Gender sensitivity:

High degree / regularly

Culture sensitivity:

High degree / regularly

Doable (practical):

Minimal / low

Participatory:

High degree / regularly

Replicable and adaptable:

High degree / regularly

Assessment/evaluated:

High degree / regularly

Type of good practice

Methods

Themes

Democratic dialogue, Promoting democratic values, Social inclusion, Youth civic participation

Duration

Continuously

Type of activity

Mixed (individual and/or group sessions)

Resourses

All books and material of Matthew Lipman

Contact

Eef Cornelissen

Belgium