Conversations in Socrates Café: Scaffolding Critical Thinking via Socratic Questioning and Dialogues

Gina Anderson, Jody Piro


Calls for practices that enhance critical thinking continue to increase as educators prepare K-12 and college students for success in our global society. This article highlights an instructional framework that  scaffolds critical thinking by way of Socratic questioning and dialogue by employing nine Universal Intellectual Standards (Elder & Paul, 2008). A self-assessment guideline assists students in reflecting and creating a growth plan to address the elements of student dialogue, Socratic Questioning with a variety of the Universal Intellectual Standards, the application of readings, a focus on interactions between  students, and dispositions supportive of respect and problem solving. This framework has the potential to enhance the level of critical thinking across multiple content areas in K-12 and college classrooms.

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