Class Activity for Introducing a First Round of “Socrates” Questions
(this is what I send out to students who missed the particular session that featured this activity…)
1. Watch each video indicated below. Ideally, watch them with a friend or family member so you can discuss your observations and conclusions with someone else.
2. Come up with an answer to each question listed in the “Questions” section below. Don’t worry too much about what I mean by each question– consider different interpretations of each question, consider different answers, etc. I will say more about these questions as we proceed through the term.
3. Over the next week, ask the following question at least three different times, to three different people; journal the experience, the response, your insights, etc., in your class notes.
“Can you help me understand what led you to that conclusion?”
Be very polite and sincere when you ask this. Do not use this question as a weapon. Use it to uncover and understand their reasoning. No follow up questions are necessary; be sure to thank them for engaging with you and answering your question; feel free to explain that this is required for your critical thinking class.
4. Share your answers to the questions, and your experiences with asking the question, the next time you see me in class.
Watch the first, third, and fourth video.
Of course you can watch ALL of them– but those are the ones we watched in class.
- What is being assumed? By whom?
- What led them to their conclusion?
- Was there any other explanation? I.e., Was any other conclusion possible?