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 four 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 Socratic Seminar, Active Listening, Inquiry, Teaching & Learning, and Critical & Creative Thinking. He is currently working on a book of poetry, a short story collection, and several novels.
On many occasions, we agree to disagree because of a lack of time. This is especially true in school where we must follow predetermined schedules. But realize that agreeing to disagree can often be an easy way out, a way of not really listening to the other side(s). If time allows, it is definitely worthwhile to continue the dialogue.
The main exception is the principled impasse, where people are disagreeing based on firm principles. Many people are willing to change their minds, but few are willing to change their core beliefs or principles. When an impasse is reached at the level of principles, it is safe to agree to disagree unless you happen to have an extraordinary amount of time to spare.
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.