What is Socratic Method: Why and How Can It Be Used in the Classroom?

Socratic Method, Teaching Tips

The Socratic method is a highly effective teaching tactic that involves repeatedly putting questions to students to which he or she either gives the wrong answer or eventually comes up with the right answer that satisfies the teacher.

This is a tactic frequently employed by teachers in schools across the world to challenge the minds of their students to evolve the way they think. These include those teaching at an international school Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

What is Socratic Method?

The Socratic method is a gift to the world from the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates and involves a dialogue between a teacher and their students, whereby the former asks the latter a series of probing questions to understand what shapes the students’ thought process.

The idea is to educate students by making them question their preconceived notions and beliefs.

What is An Example of the Socratic Method?

There are many examples of the Socratic method of teaching. For instance, a mathematics teacher asks his or her student who has solved a problem, whether another solution is possible.

This will make the student question his or her underlying assumptions about how the problem has to be approached.

What is Socratic Questioning?

Socratic questioning is all about asking someone questions that challenge his or her underlying belief, till the time they have a fundamentally more comprehensive understanding of their original belief.

6 Types of Socratic Questioning

1. Concept Clarifying Questions

Questions like- “Why would you say that?”, “Is that what you meant?” , “Could you give me an example,” and so on make students try to gather in-depth knowledge of the matter at hand.

2. Questioning Assumptions

Teachers can ask the students questions like- “What made you assume that?”, “Why would you believe that?” or “Is it possible that your assumption is incorrect?” to make them question the very basis of their assumptions.

3. Rationale Probing Questions

Teachers can ask questions that try to probe the very rationale of the students’ thought process. Questions like, “Do you have any supporting evidence to support your claim?”, “What is the evidence supporting your claim?” motivates them to dig deeper in search of knowledge to buttress their claim.

4. Implication Probing Questions

Teachers can ask questions that probe the very logic of what they believe in. Questions like. “How would this assumption of yours impact?”, “What kind of an impact will this have? and “What may happen next?” can help them look at what they believe to be true differently.

5. Questioning Questions

Questioning the very basis of the questions that students might ask encourages them to analyze everything critically. Such questions by teachers could be like, “What do you think made me ask that?”, “Why would you ask that?”, and “Can you explain your question to me?”.

6. Questioning Viewpoints

Students can be asked questions that raise doubts about their viewpoints forcing them to think out of the box.

Typical questions like “Is there any other interpretation possible to what someone wrote?”, and “Is this what the writer meant when he or she wrote that?” such questions open the students to the possibility of more than one interpretation of a concept and thereby broaden their minds.

Why the Socratic Method is Important in Education?

The Socratic method of education ensures that students learn to question the status quo and acquire deeper and substantially better knowledge.

By deploying this method of learning students would understand the complexities of real-life situations way better and help them deal with them with far more competence and finesse than they normally would have.

How is the Socratic Method Used in the Classroom?

The Socratic method of teaching makes the classroom more real as it empowers the students to learn in a deeper and significantly more evolved manner.

The impact of such learning extends outside the classroom into the real world. These are used to encourage open-ended discussions that are collaborative and participative in nature involving both the teachers and students.

The idea is not to debate, but to help the students understand better by enhancing their reasoning and analytical skills. The students ought to provide evidence that is backed by solid evidence obtained by an in-depth understanding of ideas.

Benefits of the Socratic Method for School Students

The international school of Kuala Lumpur fees or elsewhere might be well worth what the parents pay on account of the cutting-edge education methods deployed by them.

That includes the Socratic method which is outstanding in terms of what the students gain from that. Let’s look at the benefits individually.

1. Students Learn to Do In-Depth Study

By encouraging them to question everything they learn or know the students get to carry out in-depth studies.

2. Students Learn to Question and Probe to Their Advantage

Encouraging students to develop a probing and questioning attitude towards everything gets them to develop a very analytical approach towards everything they undertake.

3. It Prepares Them for Real-Life

The Socratic method ensures that students understand the complexities of real life, by learning to take a nuanced and deeply researched approach in trying to understand any situation.

4. Makes Students Put Everything to Test

By making students question everything taught to them and learnt by them this method prepares them to deeply investigate any concept, idea and instruction and try and view it from all possible perspectives.

5. Makes Education Real

School education is much more than understanding a syllabus and taking examinations. It has to be about learning everything that there is about the world we live in and our place in it. The Socratic method of education is undoubtedly the best way to do that. It teaches students to open their minds to a world of possibilities.

6. Makes Education Practical

Education is not about listening to boring lectures in classrooms, but to understand the phenomena that happen all around us. That can only happen if students are taught an ingrained questioning attitude- the very essence of the Socratic method.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Socratic method is an effective way of teaching and discussion and has been used for thousands of years.

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