Socratic method is dialogue approach that utilizes the aspects of cooperative argumentative skills based on addressing questions using critical thinking. It aims to draw out the underlying presumptions of an argument or discussion by analyzing different sections of the topic being discussed. The Greek philosopher, Socrates, utilized this method in teaching students by asking them questions after question to trigger their critical thinking. The method was later on named after him. This essay provides my own viewpoint and understanding of the Socratic method.
Socrates used this approach of teaching to expose any contradictions that his students had about their ideas and thoughts. The approach was meant to guide them to reasonable conclusions. The use of Socrates method enables one to consider all the aspects of an argument. It also shows how different approaches to a situation could deliver different results. Socrates in his teachings focused on asking his students question after question about a topic to get them to consider not just the superficial aspects of it, but also the fundamental principles and lessons that they were supposed to draw from each teaching. Similarly, when reading a text or working on a case study assignment, students are supposed to consider how different parts of the text or case study connect with each other.
Like the questions used by Socrates to direct the thought process of his student, it is important for students to ask themselves questions about the development of a text or a case study and the connection between the different parts to each other (Paul and Elder n.p). This triggers a critical thinking as students are supposed to develop solid knowledge about what they are dealing with and use the informant they have to make critical decisions. While the application of the Socratic Method in class may be intimidating or humiliating to students who have mastered its skills, it enables students to develop confidence and sharp focus. Through my studies and interaction with the Socratic Method of teaching in class, I have come to understand its importance in preparing students for the decisions that they will need to make at different stages of their lives.
The Socratic Method creates an inquiring, investigative, and analytical mindset that enables students to examine continuously the significant aspects of a situation that are important in decision-making. It also creates a logical approach that enables students to implement their values, principles, beliefs, and the knowledge that they have accumulated over time in decision-making. Socratic Method enables students to consider their moral standpoint and the values that direct their way of life. In arguments, the Socratic Method can be used to consider the reasons offered by another person while at the same time forming questions that would enable the other party to consider their decision or thoughts and their implications. It, therefore, deals with the points or arguments offered by a person as different puzzles require to make a reasonable decision (Gorman 135).
From my point of view, I consider the Socratic Method as an approach to developing critical thinking skills has enabled me to learn how to make quick decisions on my feet. Through the use of this approach, I have managed to learn the art of questioning the aspects of any possible decision, analyzing and simplifying concepts to ensure that the final decision is reasonable and represents my moral beliefs, values, and knowledge of the subject. The Socratic Method offers individuals a valuable skill that can be used to make decisions under pressure.
Gorman, Robert. The Socratic Method in Dialogues of Cicero. Franz Steiner, 2005. Print.
Paul, Richard and Linda Elder. The Thinker’s Guide to the Art of Socratic Questioning. Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2006. Print.