Christine Goodchild, Secondary School Teacher
“To have the courage to create, and be able to say, ‘I am going to have time for that,’ those simple things really matter.” Christine Goodchild
Christine engages her students in academic conversation through Socratic Circles, which put a creative spin on classroom discussions. According to Christine, Socratic Circles empower students to conduct in-depth research and share their findings in a classroom setting that helps develop learner ownership as well as an active voice.
Jewitt (2008) writes, “learning increasingly involves students in working across different sites of expression, negotiating and creating new flexible space for planning, thinking, hypothesizing, testing, designing, and realizing ideas” (p. 261). Thus, Christine encourages her students to research, share, listen, and converse with one another about various topics in art. In addition, through Socratic Circles, students learn how to be ethical listeners and speakers. Students not only research and share their findings with their peers, but they also share their lived experiences and make personal connections to art. This pedagogy is designed to engage the learner through focusing on their background and interests and better prepare them to deal with the intricacies of the world.
Serafini (2014) states, “We cannot interpret aspects of our environment that we have not perceived, and what is perceived can change based on what we already know and have experienced” (p. 32). By having students make and share their connections to art, Christine is helping students think critically about themselves, their communities, and artistic self-expression. Thus, students learn how to use art as a mode of communication. Listen below as Christine explains how she uses Socratic Circles in her teaching.