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Monday, January 4, 2010

Socratic Teaching a Boost to Metacognition?

This year, as I have worked in classrooms, teachers and I have been trying to scaffold students during discussions.  Following Vygotzky's work, we have tried to support students' developing conversational skills.  Specific strategies, coupled with labels, are modeled, practiced, and eventually internalized.  When reading this article, I was once again reminded of the importance of language - collaborative language - in our classrooms when teaching critical thinking.  The pressure to achieve, as measured through NCLB, has driven us away from this practice - quite simply because it is time consuming!  The article focuses on the importance of this format when teaching these strategies.  Enjoy.

Will Socratic teaching find a place in 21st-century schools?
Cincinnati is just one of three districts across the country that offer "paideia" K-12 curriculum in public schools -- a method where the curriculum is focused on the Socratic method of in-depth discussion and classical debate. Paideia programming declined in schools as curriculum became increasingly focused on content-based instruction and standardized testing, but proponents of paideia teaching say it may regain popularity as educators move toward the teaching of 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, collaboration and creativity. The Cincinnati Enquirer

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