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Socratic Seminars: A Critical Analysis Essay

My hands are shaky and sweaty. My face feels hot. My stomach churning. My heart is pounding and the noises around me just turn to a blur as I try to find something to say. My notes are all there and still I’m drawing a blank. To where is all this unnecessary stress and pain I feel coming from? Well, I’m sitting in the middle of a graded socratic seminar. To start, graded socratic seminars put a lot of pressure on a person, especially someone who is shy. For one who doesn’t talk particularly a lot it causes anxiety.

In the article Socratic seminars silence students, by Kaitie Puryear, she writes, “Grading Socratic Seminars is ridiculous. It puts students under an ungodly amount of pressure. ” And I for one agree with her because I experience that feeling every time I go to take my seat in the circle. When I come to form an idea in my head the conversation seems to be on a roll with the same few students taking with each other. Those students seem to be the ones who consistently talk in class and seem fine with talking in front of the class.

In the article Anxiety Over Being Called on in Class, by Law School Academic Support, states, “Students who are listeners rather than talkers with a high degree of reflective thinking in their learning styles are unlikely to jump in and rabbit on in class. ” I even experience the nervousness in class when I hear we are going to go down the lines and read a paragraph each. I instantly count the number of seats in front of me so I know what one I will have to read. Every time I do this. Also, it’s hard for many shy introverted students to focus and contribute.

You have the dominate few people who over power the others where it’s hard to contribute. However, I can focus on the points I will not be getting because of my lack of participation because I am not as talkative as I may seem outside of class when it comes to group speaking. In the article Voices: Typically quiet students suffer in classes with participation grade, by Danielle Bissonette says, “Why should outgoing people rule the world? People often say that we live in a racist, sexist world, but I’d go so far as to argue that we live in an extroverted world where introverts are consistently discriminated against.

In today’s society there is nothing wrong with being an extrovert but on the other hand, being an introvert is seen as a disadvantage. Socratic seminars require one to share ideas and talk in front of a group of people they may be unfamiliar with and therefore, causing a great deal of stress. In the same article Voices: Typically quiet students suffer in classes with participation grade, by Danielle Bissonette she makes a good point when she says, “Class participation is not fair, as it automatically gives an unfair advantage to extroverted students.

A shy student could be the brightest in the class, but she will automatically lose up to 30 percent of her grade just because she’s afraid to participate. ” To contradict that, when I know a socratic seminar in not graded I find myself contributing more ideas than usual. I can relax and not think about the grade I’ll be getting but be more engaged in the conversation and pull more away from it then I would when I’m stressing over my grade and how I can contribute.

All in all, teachers think socratic seminars are to better a groups understanding of a topic and I agree with them on that but when one is stressing over how little they have contributed it blurs out the true meaning of having one and is more focused on the final outcome and how their grade is going to be effected. One may be act completely different around a group of people they are familiar with then a group of people they hardly know. Like for instance I do not know about one fourth of the students names in my class.

Lastly I know you do not let us make up sacratic seminars which leaves me stressed over the end result of my grade. As seen from before I do preform significantly better on work that does not involve talking in front of the class. As many may see sacratric seminars as an easy way to get points, several others who are just like me see it as a time when your heart begins to pace faster and your stomach hurts from the nervousness you feel and your hands start shaking uncontrollably.

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