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.
Yes, more than ever! When I started my teaching career moe than 20 years ago, I thought students desperately needed critical thinking skills. Now, in the fake news era, they need them more than ever. Exponentially more. Painstakingly more. It's how we might try to help students develop these skills that worries me.
There are no easy solutions. Worksheets won't produce good thinkers, just as writing prompts don't get a novel written. Occasional practice won't work either - just choose a sports analogy.
What students need is extended structured practice time with thinking skills. What schools and teachers need is Socratic Seminar.
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
For students to be successful with these challenges, they need to be taught concrete skills and have time to practice those skills in a safe or brave environment. Students need to be challenged in a collaborative “laboratory of learning” where they can courageously take risks and offer their most innovative ideas, confident that their peers have the creative space to elaborate and improve upon those ideas. Collaborating in powerful ways, these students go beyond traditional information and patterns to ask previously unasked questions. In short, these students could use a Socratic classroom.