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.
There are a lot of considerations for the reflection process, such as the complexity of the text, the initial opening question, the maturity and experience of the students and so on. I always found it useful to focus on the text and the question because those can be easily changed for future lessons. My ability to facilitate a group of students is much harder to control since every group is so different and my actions change so drastically. So I use the same text but ask different questions each class period and then make a note of the most productive questions for future use.
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
In order to improve their skills, facilitators must always reflect upon the seminar, so that the next one can be incrementally better. In general, facilitators should ask themselves a series of reflective questions to gauge the quality of the seminar from three perspectives: the process, the product, and the leadership. In terms of the process, how well did the participants do? How well did the text work in conjunction with the opening question? How did I do as a facilitator?