Do You Have 21st-Century Skills to Help Your Students Succeed?
Do Your Students Have 21st-Century Skills to Think for Themselves?
The Power of the Socratic Classroom has the answers you are looking for—answers that will supply the strategies to show students how to succeed into the future. A future that has unknown products, unidentified jobs, and unanticipated challenges.
In Socratic Seminar, teachers shift to the role of facilitator, where they help their students develop the collaborative interpersonal skills, the critical and creative thinking skills, and the speaking and listening skills to face the upcoming challenges of the 21st century.
Charles Fischer has taught in public and private schools in a variety of settings, from rural Maine to inner city Atlanta. In the past 20 years, he has worked with a wide range of students from 4th grade to AP English and has been nominated for Teacher of the Year four times. He has his Master’s degree in Teaching & Learning from the University of Southern Maine, and received his B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from Binghamton University. His latest book, The Power of the Socratic Classroom, has won two awards, including the NIEA Best Education Book. His first novel, Beyond Infinity, won a 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award bronze medal (YA fiction). His areas of expertise are in Socratic Seminar, dialogue, listening, inquiry, and critical & creative thinking. He is currently working on a three book series focused on all of these territories.
I vastly prefer printed texts for seminar over digital texts. My students have been much more engaged and focused when we use printed texts. If teachers want to incorporate technology, then I would recommend adding to the seminar experience using an app or website such as Padlet.com where students can collaboratively share their ideas, questions and annotations.
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
In an October 15, 2017 article for Business Insider, Patricia Alexander and Lauren Singer write about their findings regarding the differences. Essentially, they found that for texts longer than a page, students were better able to comprehend information in print. More importantly for seminar facilitators, they also found that for specific questions going beyond general concepts such as the main idea of the text that “comprehension was significantly better when participants read printed texts.” My own observations support the use of printed texts as well, largely because I have found that my students are more focused and academically inclined when they read and wrestle with a printed text.