Socratic pedagogy encourages the love of learning and the desire to know

the Skills Studio Pedagogical Model Follows the Philosophy of Socrates

The Skills Studio Pedagogical Model (image below) was designed by Greg Twemlow, the Founder and CEO of Skills Studio. The  model focuses on helping people understand the nine interrelated skills and to be aware of consciously applying the skills. Only when skills are consciously applied can they be further refined.

broken image

Pedagogy Explained

Pedagogy, most commonly understood as the approach to teaching, is the theory and practice of learning, and how this process influences, and is influenced by, the social, political and psychological development of learners. Pedagogy, taken as an academic discipline, is the study of how knowledge and skills are imparted in an educational context, and it considers the interactions that take place during learning. Both the theory and practice of pedagogy vary greatly, as they reflect different social, political, and cultural contexts.

Pedagogy is often described as the act of teaching. The pedagogy adopted by teachers shapes their actions, judgments, and other teaching strategies by taking into consideration theories of learning, understandings of students and their needs, and the backgrounds and interests of individual students. Its aims may range from furthering liberal education (the general development of human potential) to the narrower specifics of vocational education (the imparting and acquisition of specific skills). 

Conventional western pedagogies view the teacher as knowledge holder and student as the recipient of knowledge (described by Paulo Freire as "banking methods"), but theories of pedagogy increasingly identify the student as an agent and the teacher as a facilitator.

Instructive strategies are governed by the pupil's background knowledge and experience, situation, and environment, as well as learning goals set by the student and teacher. One example would be the Socratic method.

The Socratic Pedagogical Model

Socrates is renowned for having been a great teacher and helping his pupils think for themselves. Reflecting on Socrates' work to uncover his thoughts, ideas, and practices provides an opportunity to enact experiences that lead to more powerful and successful outcomes for all students. 

This teaching approach is "a pedagogy which exploits the power of talk to shape children's thinking and to secure their engagement, learning, and understanding" (Alexander, 2008, p. 92). Public schools spend much time developing and enacting curricula, while scant attention is given to the pedagogical aspect involving the art of teaching.  

Teachers tell students what they need to know. Textbooks are read, leading students to answer literal questions at the end of each chapter. Thus much time is spent on rote learning with little time spent regarding the understanding that comes from making connections, reasoning, constructing meaning, and nurturing thinking.

Skills Studio follows Socrates philosophy as to the role of teacher and importance of guiding students to appreciate the art and power of questioning to discover the truth. 

Quote below is from "Socrates on teaching: looking back to move education forward" - Lynda George, Faculty of Education, Central Connecticut State University 1615 Stanley Street, New Britain Connecticut 06053, USA

Most public schools and school systems have curriculum specialists but not specialists in pedagogy or ways of teaching and learning. The "what" of what needs to be known and support for content is available while the "how" to engage, empower, enlighten, and nurture the love of learning and desire to know is often missing, lost, or stolen from the learning experience. 

Within many democratic countries, legislation has led to hyper-accountability and exacerbated the technocratic practice of drill and practice through massive testing and teacher evaluations based on student test results.

Socratic pedagogy encourages the love of learning and the desire to know. Analyzing the dialogues through the lens of an educator rather than a philosopher, paying particular attention to the relationship between teacher and student brought forth several insights and a renewed sense of the importance of Socrates' teaching methods and strategies. The abundance of images to construct meaning and nurture inquiry was quite overpowering and reinforced the importance of using multiple approaches when teaching to promote and ensure understanding. This study supports questioning as a necessary method for educators to enable, empower, and guide student learning. It also considers the need for educators to take the time required to think and question ideas to promote understanding and practice thinking. Teaching that fosters a love of learning and a desire to know goes beyond the pouring in of knowledge from lecturing, repetitive drill, and testing. 

How to engage, empower and enlighten students

Socrates has much to say on how to engage, empower and enlighten students. Great teachers don't just know the content of the subject(s) they teach but also learn how to make learning meaningful and relevant. Great teachers engage, convert disinterest to curiosity, change the minds of those who assume they know, and take the time to enable understanding. Wisdom emerges through experiences that surface relevance and meaning, leading to remembering and providing the building block for further and deeper learning. 

The three principles described below are the basis of all of Socrates' teachings. Socrates advocated self-understanding and felt so strongly about it that he deemed it more important than any other pursuit in life. These principles are what Socrates thought were the most important goals of philosophy.

1. Discover and Pursue Your Life's Purpose

Strive to discover who you are, your life mission, and what you are trying to become. It is necessary to lead a responsible and fully awake life. If you don't figure out who you are and what you believe, then you are content to merely exist, and what's the point in that? What is the worth of your existence? 

"Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for."

2. Care for your soul

The essential task in life is caring for your soul. Your soul is the natural person, the essence of an individual. It is the center of your character and what makes you who you are. It is the basis of your thoughts, feelings, values, and decisions.

The most important task you face is realizing your potential as a person, who you are. The state of your soul makes you either foolish or wise. Just like the body, the soul should be kept healthy.  An unhealthy soul is ignorant of the true priorities in life. You can keep your soul healthy by introspection and ridding yourself of ignorance.

"He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature."

3. Be a good person, and outside forces will not harm you

If your soul is good, then outside forces cannot harm you. If the most important part of you is your soul and the soul is not physical but inward then it cannot be harmed. The body may be harmed by another person, but the soul cannot unless you allow yourself to become susceptible to others. Search constantly for wisdom by way of practicing self-evaluation if you wish your soul to be liberated from outside harm. 

About the Author:

broken image

Greg Twemlow is a Sydney-based Social Enterprise Founder | Startup Mentor | CEO | Writer | Speaker | Designer at the Skills Studio

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!