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.
We just had what many teachers said was their most difficult year ever. It might be hard at this time of the year after so many difficult months to remember that teaching is enjoyable. It is-or can be. But I think the important thing to remember here is that learning is inherently enjoyable. When teaching is directly connected to learning, then it is also inherently enjoyable. As we know, though, too many things get in the way of that connection and can reduce teaching to more of a bureaucratic endeavor.
Socratic Seminars can help make direct connections to the learning process. They have their difficulties, of course, but by passing releasing responsibility to the students, the teacher can re-engage with the learning process, becoming a learner again, perhaps for the first time in years.
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
A huge benefit for facilitators is that teaching becomes more exciting and enjoyable. The students will generate new and exciting ideas that inject enthusiasm and life into the curriculum. Instead of repeatedly teaching the same material period after period, the students will constantly surprise you with amazing interpretations. Christopher Phillips, author of Socrates Café, described the excitement of Socratic questioning in this way: “By becoming more skilled in the art of questioning, you will discover new ways to ask the questions that have vexed and perplexed you the most. In turn, you will discover new and more fruitful answers. And these new answers in turn will generate a whole new host of questions. And the cycle keeps repeating itself—not in a vicious circle, but in an ever-ascending and ever-expanding spiral that gives you a continually new and replenishing outlook on life.”