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.
Many teachers who try Socratic Seminar first sit outside the dialogue circle in an attempt to very purposefully shift power to the students. But many of these teachers forget to reinsert themselves into the process once the students have become a high-achieving group. In my mind, this is a mistake, since the most experienced person in the room is not participating!
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
Once the group has developed a great deal of confidence, once they are fully capable of functioning on their own, they may not even need a teacher or facilitator present. After dropping the authority mantle and becoming more invisible, the teacher can then adopt a role of equal participant, or true participant. The benefit of becoming a true participant is that anything you say will only have equal value to the participants. This means, for example, that students won’t automatically agree with you simply because you are the teacher or authority figure. Instead, they will weigh your ideas, compare them to evidence, and put them in a fitting context.