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1 August 2017 Socratic Seminar with Data: A Strategy to Support Student Discourse and Understanding
Joan Griswold, Loren Shaw, Maureen Munn
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A Socratic seminar can be a powerful tool for increasing students' ability to analyze and interpret data. Most commonly used for text-based discussion, we found that using Socratic seminar to engage students with data contributes to student understanding by allowing them to reason through and process complex information as a group. This approach also provides teachers with insights about student misconceptions and understanding of concepts by listening to the student-driven discussion. This article reports on Socratic seminar in the context of a high school type 2 diabetes curriculum that explores gene and environment interactions. A case study illustrates how Socratic seminar is applied in a classroom and how students engage with the process. General characteristics of Socratic seminar are discussed at the end of the article.

© 2017 National Association of Biology Teachers. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press's Reprints and Permissions web page,
Joan Griswold, Loren Shaw, and Maureen Munn "Socratic Seminar with Data: A Strategy to Support Student Discourse and Understanding," The American Biology Teacher 79(6), 492-495, (1 August 2017).
Published: 1 August 2017

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analyzing and interpreting data
gene-environment interactions
Socratic seminar
student-led discussion
type 2 diabetes
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