HomeExemplary PracticesExemplary Faculty PracticesFall 2012Texas Woman's University | Socrates Jigsaw Cafe
  • The Socrates Jigsaw Cafe

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    Dr. Gina Anderson and Dr. Jody Piro

  • About Our Practice

    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.

  • Key Practice Features

    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.

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  • About Our Practice
  • Key Practice Features
  • Full Practice Description



About Faculty Practices

Exemplary faculty practices are innovative methods of conveying both knowledge and experience to teacher candidates in such a way as to prepare them to excel as leaders in the classroom.

Such practices may be the work on one faculty member, a group of faculty members or a department-wide practice in a teacher preparation program.

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Exemplary Defined

Exemplary faculty practices are those that provide teacher candidates a deep understanding of both content and the ability to put that content into classroom practice.

The ability to effectively translate knowledge into student learning helps make the difference between ordinary teachers and exceptional teachers.

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Key Practice Elements

Exemplary faculty practices share a common thread of creativity and innovation in their design.

These practices are intended to provide the optimum environment for teacher candidates to put learning theory into practice.  Often, exemplary faculty practices sharpen one or more key teaching competencies.

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