Importance of Socratic Debate


The Socratic method is named after Greek philosopher Socrates who used to teach his students by asking question after question. The hidden idea was to use the questions and answers method  to engage students to learn through the use of critical-thinking, reasoning, and logic. That technique helped them find gaps in their own theories and then patched them up. This method is still widely accepted and practiced in the reputed institutions across the globe.

According to wikipedia, “The Socratic method is a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presuppositions”. We can say that  a Socratic debate is a group discussion activity. In this activity, kids help one another understand the ideas, issues, and values reflected on a text. Kids are responsible for facilitating their group discussion around the text; they shouldn’t use the discussion to assert their opinions or prove an argument. Through this type of discussion, students practice how to listen to one another, make meaning, and find common ground while participating in a conversation. You can consider following points while initiating a Socratic discussion. 

- Be prepared by reading the text before participating into the discussion. Then it would be easy to

  comprehend and ask right and relevant questions. 

- Must be respectful for differing ideas, thoughts, and values, there is no space for put - downs

  sarcasm in socratic discussion.


- Everyone should be allowed enough time to express his/her thoughts and should not be

  disturbed while expressing his/her views.

You must show your presence by some of active listening skills like nodding, making eye contact,

  leaning forward, providing feedback while listening to others.

- Always participate with open mind and be prepared to receive new ideas 

- Always wait for your turn, do not raise your hand, it is okay to pass if you do not want to     


Always discuss the ideas of the text, not each other’s opinions or personal experiences