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.
There are many reasons why people become poor listeners, but creating bad listening habits is probably the top of the list. In my experience, early elementary students are taught about how to listening, often including "whole-body listening." Then as the curriculum gets more intense, listening takes a backseat to all of the "important" standards. Yet, students have to use their listening skills for all those other classes.
Those skills tend to erode, however, as students furiously try to take notes and otherwise retain information. The irony, of course, is that if they could listen better, take fewer notes and engage in class, they would actually retain more.
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
I will even suggest that many older students actually listen less effectively. This is because after years of the habit of passive listening, they struggle to actively process sounds into personalized, meaningful thoughts or ideas. As David and Elizabeth Russell put it, “To listen is to process what is heard,” but many students do not take responsibility for their listening habits.