Gordon State College Department of Education Hosts Lamar County Middle School in Socratic Seminar

By Karolina Philmon, GSC Marketing Manager

On Tuesday, March 14, Gordon State College Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Julie Little partnered with Lamar County Middle School (LCMS) and hosted a discussion on adolescent mental health in a Socratic Seminar at the Barnesville campus Smith Hall.

A Socratic Seminar is defined as a method in understanding information by creating a dialectic class in regards to a specific text. Participants pursue deeper understanding of complex ideas in the text through rigorously thoughtful dialogue. This process encourages divergent thinking rather than convergent. In a Socratic Seminar, participants aren’t to assert their opinions or prove an argument but rather practice active listening, explore meaning and common ground while in conversation.

Little’s teacher education students along with LCMS students from Heather Davison’s seventh grade gifted science class joined in conversation that included topics of the impact COVID-19 and social media had on students, signs of mental health problems and the proactive ways teachers can help students who are struggling.

“It was a powerful learning opportunity as students were able to view the Socratic Seminar through different lenses which enhanced the experience for both groups,” Little said.

The day consisted of three concurrent seminars. The seventh graders also had discussions with the future teachers at GSC about what they felt made a great teacher and provided advice to the future teachers on working with their particular age group. After discussions concluded, Davison’s class enjoyed lunch at Highlander Dinning Hall then completed a campus tour to end the day.

“Faculty in the education department value our community partners in education,” Little said. “Experiences like this strengthen our program and our relationships.”