Use & Abuse of Socrates in Teaching

Anthony G. Rud

Abstract


The Greek philosopher Socrates is used as an example of a master teacher in in many contexts, from elementary school discussions, to college philosophy classes, to law school. I examine a number of current uses of Socratic teaching, and expose inconsistencies among them. I analyze critically recent practitioners of Socratic teaching, such as Mortimer Adler, and I consider how the celebrated primary teacher Vivian Gussin Paley enacts the Socratic legacy in a novel way. I argue that the misuse, or abuse, of the Socratic legacy occurs chiefly when his teaching is interpreted narrowly as a pedagogical technique devoid of context and irony.

Keywords


Context Effect; Educational Philosophy; Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Irony; Philosophy;Teaching Methods

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v5n20.1997

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