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.
A leading question has the answer implied in it. Students don't have to think own their own if they can simply infer the answer already from the question. If you find yourself asking leading questions, simply rephrase them as statements and ask new questions. Stay with what you are genuinely curious about. If possible, plan your major questions ahead of time and make sure they have multiple right answers that are justifiable. This shift away from leading questions will make a huge difference for the thinking dispositions of the students!
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
Asking leading questions can be a difficult habit to break, especially if you were taught in such an environment. Since leading questions are basically statements disguised as questions, my main suggestion to teachers is to change the leading question into a statement and then follow it with a genuine question. Like trying to break any habit in the classroom, have your students be a police force for you. Tell them that you are trying to stop asking leading questions. If they hear you ask one, they can tell you to rephrase it. I did this early in my career to break myself of asking leading questions and being sarcastic. Believe me, the students will not let you slip. They love catching mistakes.