Engaging Students in Socratic Dialogue – Post Script

I realize that this young woman is probably like 12 years old, but I really love it as an image of a student thinking through writing. So there.

In addition to the techniques mentioned in my last blog post, law professors looking to increase student engagement might also consider the following: after completing a socratic dialogue with one student, ask all of your students to take a moment and reflect on what they think they were supposed to learn from the exercise.

This technique—asking students to consider and articulate learning objectives—can be used in conjunction with any type of exercise, including socratic dialogue.  It keep us on our toes by requiring that we be clear about why we are using certain teaching methods, and pushes students to think about and recognize how they are supposed to be learning in law school.  If we believe that we are teaching students to “think like a lawyer,” is that in fact what they are perceiving and experiencing?


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