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 always like to point out to people that the word 'mistake' rearranged spells 'ask time.' It's one of the marvelous anagrams that opens up a creative insight. The idea is that when you make a mistake it just means that it's time to ask a question! There's no need to get upset, feel stupid or downtrodden, or anything else. It simply means that it's a good time to formulate a useful question.
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
Essentially, the students are going to make mistakes and lots of them. They will interrupt each other, draw unsupported conclusions, say illogical things, and so on. Although every facilitator has a different comfort zone, I strongly encourage teachers to err on the side of letting the students struggle. They will create the greatest understandings and most enduring memories during the hardest endeavors. With strong cooperation, patience, and reflection, students can successfully engage in productive struggle.