NCSS Summer Workshop: Focus on Primary Source Documents from US History

May 8th, 2013

Do you want to learn more about how to use primary sources for US history effectively? This August, nationally recognized Socratic seminar trainer John Zola will be leading teachers in a unique workshop that makes use of materials from WSPWH! The workshop is offered by the National Council for the Social Studies, and graduate credit is available. Just don’t wait: the deadline to register is July 15. 

Learn more at the NCSS website, including how to sign up, or follow along after the jump for a longer description of the worshop:

Socratic seminars are teacher-led classroom discussions that promote higher-level thinking, more careful reading of texts, and increased skills of classroom and civil discussion. They are appropriate for any social studies disciplines and are successful with students from elementary through high school. The workshop will combine the learning of skills necessary to use seminars in your classroom with a focus on significant documents from US History. Teachers of any social studies discipline, however, are welcomed and encouraged to enroll in the workshop.

The Socratic seminar training workshops are, by their very nature, highly participatory and interactive. Each day begins with a seminar in which all participate. The texts for these “adult” seminars are drawn from founding and other important documents in US history and government. By participating in actual seminars, participants are able to experience what their students might experience and learn the process “by doing.” The other hallmark of seminar trainings is the repetition of “micro-seminars” in the afternoons. These are seminars on smaller texts that are lead by the participants in small groups. Conducted in a “jigsaw” manner, each participant leads a seminar after having time to prepare to do so with fellow participants. The “hands and minds on” aspect of this is extremely powerful as participants do the actual work of preparing for and leading seminars. The remaining elements of a seminar training revolve around making participant and leading behaviors explicit, identifying the elements of good seminar texts, exploring issues related to assessment of seminars, and determining the best ways to implement seminars in the participants’ home setting.

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