The Socrates Jigsaw Cafe
Enhancing critical thinking, addressing diversity and equity in schools, investigating, analyzing, and solving problems, modeling effective pedagogy, and assessing student learning are some of the primary goals of the university's EDUC 5173: Diversity in the Classroom course. In order to support these goals, faculty have developed an instructional framework for this course that draw from two well known approaches to teaching and learning: Socratic questioning and the Jigsaw Approach to Cooperative Learning.
The Socrates Jigsaw Cafe instructional framework engages participants in a Socrates Café through a Jigsaw cooperative group activity. This instructional strategy promotes and assesses critical thinking and Socratic questioning via the nine Universal Intellectual Standards (Elder & Paul, 2008). The instructional strategy and the intellectual standards, when used in tandem, have the potential to enhance the level of cooperative and critical thinking as well as support multicultural connections across all content area disciplines.
The Socratic Method has been innovatively applied in a new venue, a Socrates Café. Christopher Phillips (2001) originally established Socrates Café by creating open-invitation discussion groups in coffee shops and libraries, but the same objective can be implemented in schools and classrooms as well. To explicitly promote critical analysis, we utilize a modified Jigsaw cooperative grouping that supports a Socrates Café forum.