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 believe that cooperation is the future. Or actually, the future is cooperation. Either way, if we are going to solve the world's biggest problems, then we are going to need solutions created by teams of the world's experts all working together in harmony. Sounds good, sounds easy, right? Well, the issue is that when groups get together there are numerous problems: ego issues, politics, personal agendas, personality conflicts and other teamwork struggles.
If we are going to prepare students for the cooperative future, then we need to provide opportunities for them to practice the skills needed to succeed for dialogue and problem-solving. Socratic Seminar is one of the techniques designed for this specific purpose. Education is preparation for the future, so let's give students the skills they need!
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
Dialogue is characterized by a powerful cooperative atmosphere, where all participants work together to form better, stronger, shared understandings. Listen to a dialogue and the goal is clearly to deepen a topic, extend understandings, and create and test new ideas. Watch a Socratic Seminar and the teacher may even appear to be an ordinary, equal participant. Even if a participant emerges from Socratic Seminar with the same opinion as when he or she entered, it will be strengthened and enlarged through the inquiry process. This is not just opinion-swapping.