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.
This always sounds good in theory, but it really does not produce quality dialogue. If we agree to disagree then both of walk away from the conversation with disagreement. If this is done early in a dialogue, then participants miss out on the vital process of establishing understanding. Effective dialogue should seek similarities and points of agreement with the goal of empathy. I may disagree, but at least I understand your position and your beliefs. But if we agree to disagree to early, then we will never achieve empathy and understanding.
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
Watch out for allowing students to simply agree to disagree. Although this idea is perhaps cordial and polite, it does allow students to avoid the critical thinking and interpersonal skills involved in potentially challenging conversations. If the discussion is particularly heated, the topic may be better suited for a future debate. Otherwise, students can still grapple with the disagreements as long as they have the intention of exploring the ideas toward mutual benefit and respect.