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Socratic Seminaring: Using Discussion to Promote Critical Thinking Skills

Dr. Valeri Helterbran

Instructor: Valeri Helterbran, Ed.D.

Dr. Helterbran holds a M.Ed. and Ed.S. in Educational Administration and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. She has taught at the elementary and secondary levels and has served as a middle school and high school principal. During her years in the principalship, she engaged in specialized training in Socratic seminaring at the National Paideia Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Upon returning to her district, she instituted a schoolwide Socratic seminar program. Now a teacher educator at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, she teaches effective pedagogy methods, including Socratic seminaring, to undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Helterbran has presented and published scholarship based on the tenets of effective discussion as a dynamic instructional strategy. She was named Pennsylvania Teacher Educator of the Year in 2005 based in part on her work related to Socratic seminaring.

Socratic Seminaring: Using Discussion to Promote Critical Thinking Skills

(Kindergarten–12th Grades)

  • On the IUP main campus (Davis Hall, Room 121)
  • EDUC 581.001 - 3 credits
  • Monday, July 1–Wednesday, July 3, and Friday, July 5, 2013
  • 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 4 will be online (TBA)

Workshop Description

Socratic seminaring, a form of discussion, is a powerful instructional strategy designed to reinforce content and encourage students to develop a personal voice and ownership in the learning process. It involves the use of primary resources and can be used to interpret great works, to explore ideas and moral dilemmas, or to examine a host of texts including art, music, literature, or media. Seminaring can be used to teach any subject with any group of students and may be used to teach cognitive and affective objectives equally well. Through active engagement, educators will learn and practice effective strategies to make discussions with their students creative, productive, inclusive, and oriented toward critical thinking. 

Graduate Tuition and Mandatory Fees, Summer 2013*

On IUP Campus

  • Tuition: based on a per-credit rate of $429 per credit
  • Activity Fee: $12.50 per credit
  • Instructional Fee (master’s): $67.50 per credit
  • Registration Fee: $32
  • Technology Fee: $21 per credit
  • Student Services Fee: $6 per credit

Online

  • Tuition: based on a per-credit rate of $429 per credit
  • Instructional Fee (master’s): $67.50 per credit
  • Registration Fee: $32
  • Technology Fee: $21 per credit
  • Student Services Fee: $6 per credit

*All fees are subject to change. Go to the Bursar’s Office for up-to-date tuition and fees.

  • College of Education and Educational Technology
  • Stouffer Hall, Room 104
    1175 Maple Street
    Indiana, PA 15705-1080
  • Phone: 724-357-2480
  • Fax: 724-357-5595
  • Summer Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.