[Catherine Devine] A Socratic circle is a method of discussing an issue or a text and there are two concentric circles. The inner circle discusses the issue while the outer circle or the feedback group watch and listen really carefully and they respond to questions about the quality of the conversations, they’re watching all the time, they’re looking at how that inner circle are interacting with each other, how they’re drawing each other into the conversation and how they’re exploring the issues. And what happens is the circle starts with a question, a fairly open ended question such as 'What does it mean to be a good Australian,' and the inner circle then start to respond to that and they may respond in reference to an article that they’ve read or the lyrics of a song or a political cartoon, it could be anything that stimulates their ideas and their responses. Once that inner circle discussion has taken place then we hear from each member of the outer circle, the feedback group and they have been taking notes, as I said, during the conversation and they then contribute a piece of positive feedback, and we ask them to really commend individuals within the circle or the circle as a group in terms of what they’ve done really well to advance that conversation and to advance the understanding of the issues.
[Student] We started from 'What’s a good Australian' and ended up at Middle Eastern and Foxtel and TV and parents who want you to have a better mark and everything.
[Student] We were jumping all over the place.
[Student] It was really good the way you opened up, while I agree, when you opened up new subjects it was a good thing as well because it got everyone else interested and brought other people into the conversation and put in new aspects of the conversation.
[Student] I like the point that was brought up that it’s not the communities that are out to get each other but it’s the people inside the communities who make a difference.
[Student] And I think once people get to know each other you can be more open to each other, which you can talk to each other and be more comfortable with them, and I thought you two, you were really important in running the conversation. That’s just my opinion anyway.
[Student] The conversation kept continuing on, it didn’t have a long pause and the ideas were really good.
[Student] There were lots of good ideas put out there and good things said and good reference like 'To Kill a Mocking Bird' and stuff.