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.
It doesn't seem like listening and risk-taking would go together immediately, but they do. It can be a brave move to listen to other people's ideas.It can be quite a risk to close your mouth and not interrupt or contradict. After all, you might just change your mind.
But what's wrong with changing your mind? Sure, its a bit scary, changing and growing and adapting. But that's learning. What we need to do is model this for students. How do you do that? By being willing to change your mind. Perhaps even actually changing your mind.
And to change your mind, you need to listen.
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
A good listening and thinking environment should always include taking risks. Students should be encouraged to be open-minded, to at least “try out” other ideas, even (or especially) if they are different. This may simply take the form of asking questions: “Are you afraid of this idea?” or “Does this idea leave you confused?”
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