Unit 5- Socratic Discussions


The purpose of this unit is to help you realize how to create socratic discussions for your online course.


It is hard to imagine someone being a good critical thinker while lacking the disposition to question in a deep way. It is also hard to imagine someone acquiring the disposition to question in a fuller way than Socrates. It follows that those truly interested in critical thinking will also be interested in the art of deep questioning. And learning the Socratic art is a natural place to start.

As you begin to ask questions in the spirit of Socrates—to dig deeply into what people believe and why they believe it—you will begin to experience greater command of your own thinking as well as the thinking of others. Be patient with yourself and with your students. Proficiency in Socratic questioning takes time, but time well worth spending.

Richard Paul and Linda Elder

Unit 5- Practice

  1. Watch the videos below.
  2. Read The Thinker’s Guide to Socratic Questioning, pages 4-5 and 50-59.

  3. Using the examples on pages 4-5, 53-56, develop your own list of questions focused on concepts in your discipline.
  1. Read The Thinker’s Guide to Socratic Questioning, pages 20-25 and 50-59.

Socratic Questioning

6. Provide feedback to two different learners Unit 4 posts.

When a standard was not well met: I am questioning the _INSERT THE INTELLECTUAL STANDARD_ of your statement ____________ because _______. When a standard was well met:  Your statement had _INSERT THE INTELLECTUAL STANDARD_ when you said….

If you are the one receiving the feedback, please don’t take it personally. This is about getting practice in providing feedback.

Unit 5- Self-assessment & Badge

Complete the following self-assessment to get your badge: Unit 5- Infusing Critical Thinking in Online Discussions

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