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.
Because Socratic Seminar is meant to be dialogue, not debate, heated topics do not work well. There is nothing wrong with debates. but polarizing topics simply do not facilitate cooperative learning, where everyone is meant to add to a cumulative process. Certainly students can debate on common topics like the death penalty, but those should simply be done in a debate format instead of a seminar format.
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
Be cautious of texts that bring up extremely controversial, heated subjects, such as the death penalty, since these will often depart into debates where students deviate from the text and almost always return and stick to their preconceived ideas and opinions. Generally speaking, use such texts and topics in debate class.