Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-4-2023


This phenomenological study considered Socratic seminars and student perceptions. Research on Socratic seminars considers student achievement, but lacks students’ perspectives. This study’s purpose is to describe seminar participation for students at a Paideia School. Research questions include 1) “From the students’ perspectives, and based on their personal judgments and perceptions, what is it the lived experience for high school freshmen and sophomores who regularly participate in Socratic seminars?” and 2) “What effect does regular participation in Socratic seminars have on students’ perceptions of their own engagement in school?” Fourteen students were interviewed. Analysis yielded four themes: Open Exchange of Ideas and Opinions Among Peers, Sense of Connection to Others, Student-Centered Learning and Growth, and Applicability of Socratic Seminar to Other Disciplines and to Life. Participants reported engagement in school, with seminars positively affecting engagement.


Socratic seminar, Socratic method, student-centered, student engagement

Project Sponsors

Dr. Marjori M. Krebs

Document Type




Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Marjori M. Krebs

Second Committee Member

Dr. Allison M. Borden

Third Committee Member

Dr. Scott D. Hughes

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Philip J. Bartok