Wouldn’t This Be Great

Wouldn’t This Be Great
This method of teaching is designed to create autonomous thinkers.

  • Plan and build the main course of thought (theme) through the lessons.
  • Build in potential errors for discovery and discussion.
  • Keep a list of common misconceptions and if they do not come up, bring them up.
  • Start or check with the conclusion and work backwards.
  • The teacher and student agree on the topic of instruction from a list of required topics.
  • The student agrees to attempt to answer questions from the teacher.
  • The teacher and student are willing to accept any correctly-reasoned answer. That is, the reasoning process must be considered more important than pre-conceived facts or beliefs.
  • The teacher’s questions should expose errors in the students reasoning or beliefs, then formulate questions that the students cannot answer except by a correct reasoning process.
  • Where the teacher makes an error of logic or fact, it is acceptable for a student to draw attention to the error.

I think that this idea is great and would greatly benefit any academic setting. In fact someone introduced this novel concept to me recently.

The problem is that, I was a bit appalled. Because what is written above has been around since the 5th century…BC.  It is known as the SOCRATIC METHOD, and the above list of items is 100% plagiarized, by me, for the purpose of this article(citation will be at the end).

The main issue is not that people have forgotten or never been taught the discipline of this tried and true form of teaching, but that they feel like their ideas are new. In an age where we can test our knowledge and ignorance with a few key strokes, why are people re-writing methodology that was simply abandoned by a previous generation?

It is rare, extremely rare, to actually have a new idea. My recommendation to educators is to pause and do some research. Thinking everything in the past is useless to the current and upcoming generation is not wise. It is through our history and rediscovery of ideas that we often find the solutions to our greatest problems.

For Example:

Tony DePrato

(Socratic Method : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method)

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