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.
The single most important step for teachers who love to talk and be the "sage on the stage" is to ask questions that do not have specifically clear answers. This often requires carefully selecting a rich text that has layers of complexity embedded in it. The questions, then, can unlock multiple right answers that are justifiable in the text. This allows participants to create different viable viewpoints instead of arriving at a singular answer.
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
For teachers and facilitators who love to talk, share their opinions, and/or demonstrate their expertise, it is imperative for them to ask questions, the answers to which they DO NOT KNOW. When they do this, they will be far less likely to hijack the power of the seminar, and they can remain genuinely curious and engaged in the conversation. This requires that facilitators closely examine the text themselves, and carefully and mindfully craft questions that have multiple “right” answers or interpretations.