The Socratic Method

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The Socratic Method Questions compel us, confuse us, and frustrate us. But could it be possible that a simple question could bring knowledge and enlightenment? Nearly every student from kindergarten to grade twelve knows that the best way to go about finding the answer to a troublesome question is to ask someone of greater knowledge than oneself; however, around 400 B.C., a Greek philosopher by the name of Socrates introduced the idea that, to solve a problem, a series of questions must be asked which serve to prompt a refined understanding of potential answers (M. Maxwell). Today, this is known as the Socratic Method. It is a negative method of hypothesis elimination, in the way the questions eliminate previous hypotheses which lead to contradictions and provide better hypotheses with less or no contradictions. The Socratic Method is used throughout the world, mainly in college and university settings, but has become increasingly prominent in high schools. But Socrates himself would encourage the question, is the Socratic Method really a useful method of learning? Or is it just a way for teachers to frustrate students and strip them of their opinions? The Socratic Method is a relevant and effective method of teaching because it develops one’s self-knowledge, has demonstrated its effectiveness in today’s education system, and it teaches the valuable lesson of humility. Many people in Socrates’ time felt hatred towards him because of his method of teaching. They did not like how he was constantly pointing out their ignorance and what they believed was a lack of knowledge. The people of his time became so angry with his teachings that Socrates was executed for his methods of inquiry. He was willing to die for what he believed in rather than give it up. People today still get defensive whenever their beliefs and opinions are challenged. When someone’s opinion is
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