Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Socratic Method

"Know thyself."
                                                                                   ~ Socrates

With the recent popularity of Harvard's "Case Method", lets get back to its origin in ancient times.

The "Case Method" is closely associated with Socratic Method of Questioning. This kind of questioning had been used by Socrates, a classical Greek philosopher in his school.

To this day, this kind of teaching still proves to be effective and of great use. In case analysis as well as in teaching, this is the best method to use as you will find out in my future blog posts.

The Socratic Method has been my fascination since I learned of it in high school. In my experience, if the teacher uses this method, it can force the student to think, thereby he or she can absorb or understand the lesson quite well.

When I reviewed for Chemical Engineers' Licensure Exam, I encountered this professor who  cleverly used Socratic Method in teaching chemical engineering professional subjects. Frequently, he would ask his students on how to approach the problem and throw them thought-provoking questions.

What I had gotten from this professor was that, with his questioning, I was forced to think. Through our discussion, I clearly understood the concept or theories he was teaching.

Even in practice, I find this kind of questioning to be helpful for it leads me to the right and often practical solutions.

When I had my MBA studies at the Asian Institute of Management, all the more that I used this method in case analysis as well as in class discussions. I observed that by asking the right questions a la Socratic Method, I can have full grasp of the situation at hand, and I can fully understand the underpinning concepts or theories behind the case.

I would say Socratic Method induces critical thinking and it has the power to bring a student's level of thinking from lower to a higher one, as in Bloom's taxonomy. As such this method is efficient in so far as cognition is concerned.

No comments:

Post a Comment