Transformational dialogue through Socratic Circles pedagogy : Deep learning and social cohesion in microcosms of democratic communities

PhD Thesis


Devine, Catherine Teresa. (2020). Transformational dialogue through Socratic Circles pedagogy : Deep learning and social cohesion in microcosms of democratic communities [PhD Thesis]. Australian Catholic University School of Education https://doi.org/10.26199/acu.8x947
AuthorsDevine, Catherine Teresa
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDoctor of Philosophy
Abstract

Values related to social cohesion, that are explored, understood and developed through interactions and dialogue can have a humanising effect on the learning environment. A reengagement with the enduring and evolving aims of education presents an opportunity for educators to recreate classrooms as microcosms of the ideal democratic community. The role of pedagogy in providing an architecture for an education towards social cohesion, encompassing critical and creative thinking, communicative competence and relationshipbuilding, is central to its success. However, what is not easily understood or applied, is how an education in these values might be achieved within contemporary school settings.

Socratic Circles is a formal, structured discussion-based pedagogical approach to teaching and learning. In such an approach, learners employ purposeful reading and speaking strategies to enhance the expression of ideas conducive to promoting learning, individual wellbeing and social cohesion among adolescents. This research examines a pedagogical response to the values education reform effort implemented by the Commonwealth Government of Australia in the period 2002–2010. It focuses on the use of Socratic Circles as a pedagogical tool in teaching, understanding and demonstrating values in the context of adolescent learning in a cross-sectoral cluster of secondary schools in Melbourne, Australia. The identification of Transformational Dialogue achieved through Socratic Circles Pedagogy as both an effective process and positive outcome in the context of values, affirms its relevance as a contemporary educational approach.

The Socratic Circles Pedagogy Outcomes framework brings together the key structural, contextual and foundational conditions and practices for the application of effective pedagogy as part of comprehensive curriculum reform for student learning. In the context of this research, Socratic Circles Pedagogy offers a mechanism for Transformational Dialogue. This pedagogical choice is characteristically agentic, that is, the individual is both an agent of change and is changed, within the community of learners, by the agency of others. When considering the educational imperatives of deep learning related to contemporary issues such as shared values, the achievement of Transformational Dialogue through the Socratic Circles Pedagogy is possible.

Year2020
PublisherAustralian Catholic University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26199/acu.8x947
Page range1-255
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Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online21 Mar 2022
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CompletedNov 2020
Deposited20 Mar 2022
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Education and diversity: values education and cross-cultural learning through Socratic dialogue and the visual arts
Staples, Adam, Devine, Catherine and Chapman, Judith. (2010). Education and diversity: values education and cross-cultural learning through Socratic dialogue and the visual arts. In International Research Handbook on Values Education and Student Wellbeing pp. 765 - 777 Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-8675-4_43
Socratic circles as a learning strategy in values education and interfaith understanding
Chapman, Judith and Devine, Catherine. (2008). Socratic circles as a learning strategy in values education and interfaith understanding. Journal of Religious Education. 56(3), pp. 50 - 56.