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Socratic Teaching Engaging students through dialogue.

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1 Socratic Teaching Engaging students through dialogue

2 Socratic Method--Origins Based on ideas of Socrates ( B.C.E.). Based on ideas of Socrates ( B.C.E.). Socrates’ actual method was an extended public dialogue/debate between teacher and a student (aka “dialectic”). This can be rather harsh. Socrates’ actual method was an extended public dialogue/debate between teacher and a student (aka “dialectic”). This can be rather harsh. Therefore, we use a moderated version, consisting mostly of group discussion. Therefore, we use a moderated version, consisting mostly of group discussion. Teacher poses questions rather than providing answers. Teacher poses questions rather than providing answers. Considered one of the most powerful teaching tools. Considered one of the most powerful teaching tools.

3 Purposes To engage students by arousing their curiosity. To engage students by arousing their curiosity. To make learning a participatory--not passive-- experience. To make learning a participatory--not passive-- experience. To encourage critical (i.e., higher-order) thinking and problem-solving skills. To encourage critical (i.e., higher-order) thinking and problem-solving skills.

4 Anderson & Krathwohl (2001) based on Bloom (1956) Create Remember Understand Apply Analyze Evaluate

5 Technique Stimulate discussion with probing questions. Stimulate discussion with probing questions. Draw as many students as possible into the discussion. Draw as many students as possible into the discussion. Keep discussion focused. Keep discussion focused. Apply rigorous logic--and ethics. Apply rigorous logic--and ethics. Allow students to disagree with instructor. Allow students to disagree with instructor. Never embarrass, mock or denigrate a student. Never embarrass, mock or denigrate a student. Periodically summarize what has and has not been dealt with and/or resolved. Periodically summarize what has and has not been dealt with and/or resolved.

6 Cautions One of Socratic teaching’s strengths is its unpredictability. This can also present unexpected and occasionally uncomfortable moments. One of Socratic teaching’s strengths is its unpredictability. This can also present unexpected and occasionally uncomfortable moments. Discussions can digress drastically if not reined in by teacher/moderator. Discussions can digress drastically if not reined in by teacher/moderator. Teaching students to think for themselves is not always a welcome development. Teaching students to think for themselves is not always a welcome development.

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