by Win Wenger, Ph.D.
The majority of the next generation attend not the privileged, spotlight, front-row schools for the select, the elite and advantaged, and the recognized gifted. The majority attend school, if at all, in conditions not conducive to learning, and condemned thereby to lifelong material and human poverty for yet another generation. That majority also represent a huge human resource for those developing nations, which now instead appear to be a huge liability and handicap for them. The recommended solution:
For easy, free instructions how to use modern Socratic Method for groups even of hundreds of students at a time, with everyone as totally involved as had been the one or two students at a time with the traditional version, please see Dynamic Format.
You can see, by the same article, that one does not have to switch totally and immediately to an unfamiliar method. To begin with, a teacher who wishes to underscore a key point of a lesson he or she has just taught, by whatever method, can use “Dynamic Format,” the referenced element of modern Socratic Method, to throw every student into an extended, intensive, searching discussion seeking answers to questions about that very point and be more focused, more in control, than he or she usually is! And come crisply back to whatever instructional mode had been underway before that dynamic on-task-focused “buzz-group.” As the individual teacher gains confidence, and likes the classroom results, he or she can begin using Socratic Method more and more.
You might also find illuminating a review of some of the types of questions which can be used, at Winsights No. 63, Ask Better Questions, for More Than Just Better Answers.
No matter what the income level is for a school, its faculty, staff, volunteers, even the lay parents, can be trained and supported to really hear each student, to draw that student out at length, in detail, in depth, on his or her own first-hand and deepest and subtlest awarenesses, on topic after topic in the curriculum of studies. No matter what material resources a school does or does not have, its students can be trained and supported to really hear each other, to draw each other (and themselves) out at length, in depth, on the topics of the curriculum and on whatever other matters of general and community importance.
Even as good as you yourself now are, how would YOUR life be different now had YOUR schooling been like that back then?
What will be the strength and viability of a community, indeed a nation, most of whose children came up through such schooling?
Teachers will find it easier to make use of the richness of diversity of cultural backgrounds represented in their classrooms, a major national resource which has until now mostly gotten in the way and had to be discarded or overridden. Students engage in the Socratic process from their unique strengths and build from there: their differences become unique advantages instead of crippling disadvantages.
More and more of the actual work and effort in the classroom gets done by increasingly enthused students instead of by struggling teachers. Your best and most sensitive teachers don’t have to burn out; they will remain and grow within what is to them an increasingly rewarding, satisfying and productive profession.
Surprise! You are now already halfway to solving the problems of your schools.
Surprise! The CPS method you just used is one of the many hundreds of modern forms of Socratic Method. Learn how to use it to teach a subject!
Surprise! There is much more information on this topic freely available to you throughout this website, or contact Win Wenger.
copyright noticefor use with people whom you care about.
|Home | Solutions index | Realize High Human Potential of Students in Developing Countries ||
PO Box 332, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-0332