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's always important to consider how groups of people behave. The good news is that many groups follow predictable stages. The bad news is that every group that struggles might struggle for a different reason. This is where facilitator training is vital. A trained facilitator can collect data, consider push and pull factors, solve problems and help create better equity within the group. Untrained teachers often get easily frustrated and often quit at the Storming Stage because things seem too chaotic. But a set of strategies, such as those in The Power of the Socratic Classroom, will help groups move to the Performing Stage.
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
Groups naturally go through stages. Just think about those initial awkward moments of first joining a group and getting to know people for the first time versus the fluidity and ease after working with them for a while. Bruce Tuckman identified four stages that he named: forming, storming, norming, and performing (adjourning was added later). Briefly, in the forming stage the group comes together to create goals and expectations. In the storming stage, the members of the group naturally compete for attention and leadership. In the norming stage, the members of the group adjust themselves and their behaviors and reach various agreements. In the performing stage, the members actively and effectively work together as a team.