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.
I heard a saying once that definitely applies to Socratic Seminar: "The person who does the work, does the learning."And another idea comes to mind related to this: "Who is working harder, you or the students?"
Too often teachers are the ones worker harder and doing the work... which means they are the ones doing most of the learning. They are more active, while students are more passive.
For students to truly learn, teachers need to reverse these roles. The first step is to shift to a seemingly more passive role of questioner. ONLY ask questions. This will immediately shift students into more active roles where they are doing the work of learning.
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
Socratic Seminars produce active instead of passive learning. Many students are passive learners who expect to be spoon-fed. They are content to sit back and let someone else do the thinking work. In a typical class discussion, for example, there are always those students who are willing to drift through forty-five minutes without participating. Unless specifically called upon, those students will not engage their minds. When seminar facilitators transition to the more seemingly passive role of facilitator, the students will be forced into more active roles. Some seminar facilitators take this idea seriously by sitting outside of the dialogue circle and not participating, literally forcing the students to take ownership of the process.