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Think Like Socrates

Think Like Socrates
Using Questions to Invite Wonder and Empathy Into the Classroom, Grades 4-12

September 2018 | 304 pages | Corwin

The key to creating wonder and empathy in class? Questions!

 Socrates believed in the power of questions rather than the efficiency of lecturing his students. And yet, if we revere Socrates as one of the greatest teachers in history, how did we get so far away from his method of inquiry? Shanna Peeples, 2015 National Teacher of the Year, is here to flip the script and show you how teachers can create a welcoming and engaging atmosphere that encourages student questions and honors their experiences. This resource provides

  • Practical strategies for creating a classroom that runs on dialogue, curiosity, inquiry, and respect
  • An enhancement to your existing curriculum, regardless of content area or grade level, with examples and advice from award-winning teachers
  • Questions of increasing depth paired with sample texts to increase student engagement with your content
  • Step-by-step lessons for generating and using students’ questions as a way of assessing their thinking, and helping them guide that thinking into new learning aligned to state standards
  • Lesson extensions for English language learners, special education students, and gifted and talented students
  • Writing suggestions, in-class debate questions, and scoring rubrics for each content area
  • Recommended multimedia texts grouped by big questions
  • Detailed protocols for using inquiry with adults as a base for Professional Learning Communities, for guiding staff meetings, and for creating inquiry groups around common areas of practice

Your students’ deepest wonderings can point toward learning experiences that allow them to practice the work of citizenship grounded in empathy. Let the questions begin!

PART I. Building a Questioning Classroom Culture
1. Kids These Days: Creating Deeper Learning Experiences Framed Around Student Questions
2. Designing for Engagement: Strategies for Using Student Questions to Plan Academic Discussions
3. Teaching Like Socrates: Composing a Classroom Climate to Encourage Inquiry
4. Learning to Listen: Processes to Support Better Thinking Through Focused Attention
5. Constructing Trust: Foundational Practices to Build Empathy, Belonging, and a Culture of Thinking
PART II. Curating Questions for Use in the Content Areas
6. Using Questions in Multiple Disciplines and Grade Levels
7. Science
8. Math
9. Social Studies, Government, and Humanities
10. Fine Arts
11. Career and Technical Education
12. Special Populations
PART III. Applying Inquiry to Do Real Work in the Real World
13. Using Student Questions for Project Ideas at All Levels
PART IV. Using Our Own Questions to Transform Our Practice
14. Using Teacher Questions to Guide Staff Meetings and Plan Professional Development

"In this book, master teacher Shanna Peeples takes us inside the world of compelling classrooms, showing us what makes them tick and how they can be made to soar. Think Like Socrates is a tour de force that moves effortlessly between theory and practice, advancing an argument about the critical importance of inquiry as a mode for teaching and learning and providing detailed examples and resources which show how this can be accomplished. I learned a lot from this book and think you will too."

Jal Mehta, Associate Professor
Harvard Graduate School of Education

“Questions are the pulleys of learning. Once that space between question and answer has been created, it’s the question, not an answer that pulls our students to new insight and greater understanding. Shanna Peeples knows this because she lives it and practices it. As soon as you meet her students, see her pedagogy in action, you’ll recognize your own students and classroom. You’ll see the way Shanna’s clear and accessible instructional framework will liberate their thinking and empower their voices. This book has a place on the bookshelf of every teacher I know."

Sarah Brown Wessling, 2010 National Teacher of the Year

Sample Materials & Chapters

Table of Contents


Chapter 1

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ISBN: 9781506391649

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