Increasing equity and encouraging student voice with Socratic thinking.

by Jody Zepp

Grades 9-12


I see education through the lens of my father’s work to integrate Caroll County in Maryland in the 1960s. Justice, equity, and opportunity were the themes of my childhood. I look at education as an equalizer.

It’s important that my students don’t just absorb information – they need to know who is doing the interpreting. I encourage them to expose bias and challenge the soundness of an argument.

We begin our Socratic seminar with an illusion (it’s a cow) that is projected onto a screen. It is an ambiguous image that can be interpreted in different ways. This is an entry point to asking questions about who saw what first. Who saw a cow right away and who was never able to see it? How did students help other students to finally recognize what the image was?

This type of activity, and the others that we do routinely, help students get right the heart of why questioning and trust are central to critical thinking and seeing ideas and knowledge clearly.

About Jody Zepp

Coming from a long line of educators, Jody learned very early that striving for justice, equity and opportunity in the classroom is a worthy and ho...

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