Socratically Speaking: English Class Discusses Chivalry

Like many of our teachers creatively utilizing outdoor learning spaces, beloved English teacher, Thomas Fickley, looks for any opportunity to step away from the new norm of computer screens and revel in the beauty of the outdoors with his students. Fickley’s Honors Modern English Class recently held a Socratic Seminar (named for Greek Philosopher, Socrates) in one of the wooded, outdoor classrooms.
Occurring almost weekly, Socratic Seminars at Covenant consist of formal discussion revolving around a text read by the class as thought-provoking questions are facilitated by the teachers. Following the Socratic Seminar guidelines and etiquette, students are required to take turns speaking without raising their hands, stay on topic, and ask clarifying questions to further comprehend the assigned reading. 

The topic of discussion for Fickley’s ninth-grade students was The Code of Chivalry in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Students examined the Five Codes of Chivalry and how they saw them applied in their own lives that week.

We look forward to seeing how teachers will continue to use the outdoor classrooms on campus so that students are able to socially distance themselves from their peers while still feeling connected and engaged in conversation.

The Covenant School

Birdwood Campus | Lower School | Pre-K–Grade 5 |
1000 Birdwood Road Charlottesville, VA 22903 | 434.220.7309

Hickory Campus | Middle and Upper School | Grades 6–12 | 175 Hickory Street Charlottesville, VA 22902 | 434.220.7329
Located in Charlottesville, VA, The Covenant School is a non-denominational, private, Christian day school for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, visual and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.