Socratic Philosophy

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Socratic Philosophy

Philosophy of Education
Learning is a complex process aquired through a variety of experiences. Cooperation between a teacher and student facilitates the greatest growth in each student’s intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development. Cirriculum must be relevant to the needs of individuals while enhancing both respect and communication within a multicultural society. A supportive enviroment allows student’s to develop a positive attitude towards learning for life. Students do not get bored or lose concentration if they are actively participating. If lesson plans permit, students will participate actively in unison or one after another.
The Socratic method allows students to learn for themselves. As the educator, you produce questions to the class that allow them to think and work together which also allows them to learn together. For instance, without lecturing to the class, a lesson could be taught in a health education by asking questions about their reading assignment. “What are the benefits of not smoking?” In response, the class works in unison to piece together the answers. This improves social skills, which stated before, will improve violence and behavior issues.
The chief benefits of this method are that it excites students' curiosity and arouses their thinking, rather than stifling it. It also makes teaching more interesting, because most of the time, you learn more from the students -- or by what they make you think of -- than what you knew going into the class. Each group of students is just enough different, that it makes it stimulating. It is a very efficient teaching method, because the first time through tends to cover the topic very thoroughly, in terms of their understanding it. It is more efficient for their learning then lecturing to them is, though, of course, a teacher can lecture in less time.
Finally, two of the interesting, perhaps side, benefits of using the Socratic method are that it gives the students a chance to experience the attendant joy and excitement of discovering (often complex) ideas on their own. And it gives teachers a chance to learn how much more inventive and bright a great many more students are than usually appear to be when they are primarily passive.
Students do not get bored or lose concentration if they are actively participating. Almost all of these children participated the whole time; often calling out in unison or one after another. If necessary, I could have asked if anyone thought some answer might be wrong, or if anyone agreed with a particular answer. You get extra mileage out of a given question that way. I did not have to do that here. Their answers were almost all immediate and very good. If necessary, you can also call on particular students; if they don't know, other students will bail them out. Calling on someone in a non-threatening way tends to activate others who might otherwise remain silent. That was not a problem with these kids. Remember, this was not a gifted class. It was a normal suburban third grade of whom two teachers had said only a few students would be able to understand the ideas.
The chief benefits of this method are that it excites students' curiosity and arouses their thinking, rather than stifling it. It also makes teaching more interesting, because most of the time, you learn more from the students -- or by what they make you think of -- than what you knew going into the class. Each group of students is just enough different, that it makes it stimulating. It is a very efficient teaching method, because the first time through tends to cover the topic very thoroughly, in terms of their understanding it. It is more efficient for their learning then lecturing to them is, though, of course, a teacher can lecture in less time.
It gives constant feed-back and thus allows monitoring of the students' understanding as you go. So you know what problems and misunderstandings or lack of understandings you need to address as you are presenting the material. You do not need to wait to give a quiz or exam; the whole thing is one big quiz as you go, though a quiz whose point is teaching, not grading. Though, to repeat,

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