Socratic Pedagogy, Race and Power


  • Peter Boghossian Portland State University



Personal Autonomy, Power Structure, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Methods, Socratic Method


Rud (1997) wrote in this journal: " Leaving aside the blatant (to my eyes at least) problems of power and dominance of an elderly Greek citizen teaching a slave boy, this example [the Meno] of teaching has always left me cold." Garlikov (1998) addressed Rud's criticism of the Socratic dialogue. The present article addresses and extends Garlikov's response to cover general notions of power, and shows how these may affect Socratic discourse. Socratic pedagogy is not merely an illusory exercise where participants acquiesce to notions of truth because of power differentials. But power relations play a role in all communicative contexts. However, in Socractic pedagogy the adverse effects of power are greatly reduced and the focus is shifted from people to propositions.


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Author Biography

Peter Boghossian, Portland State University

Peter Boghossian is currently writing his dissertation, in education, at Portland State University. He is an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Portland and Linfield College, teaches critical thinking in grades K-12 for Saturday Academy, teaches education classes at Portland State University, and is the assistant department chair for humanities at the University of Phoenix.




How to Cite

Boghossian, P. (2002). Socratic Pedagogy, Race and Power. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 10, 3.