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.
When I speak to teachers about failed Socratic Seminars, there is almost always a lack of work in the pre-seminar stage. This component is absolutely vital to a quality conversation, since this stage mainly involves activating curiosity and wonder. Without these two components from the students, the inquiry exercise is mainly driven by the teacher - and is, in addition, often agenda-driven. If we want our students to be engaged in curiosity and wonder, then we have to give them opportunities to practice engaging organically with complex texts.
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
This stage of seminar assists students in using strategies and finding avenues into the text. For the most part, this stage involves annotating and “preparing a text” ahead of time: looking up vocabulary words, journaling, organizing information, putting symbols in the margins, generating questions, reading background material, and blogging.