December 8, 2022

The Socratic Method of Learning through Student Inspiration

The Socratic Method of Learning through Student Inspiration

The Socratic Method encourages students to ask questions, think critically, and come to their own conclusions.

Socrates is widely regarded as a pioneer in the field of education, and his teachings continue to shape the way we think about learning today. He believed that true education comes from self-discovery and critical thinking, and that in order to truly understand something, we must first admit our own ignorance and be open to the idea that what we think we know may not be entirely accurate.

This approach is evident in modern educational frameworks, such as those offered by the IB and Sampoerna Academy, which prioritize student-centered learning and the development of critical thinking skills.

Instead of simply imparting knowledge, educators in these institutions aim to inspire and guide students in their own explorations and self-discovery, allowing them to express what they have learned in their own unique way.

Photo science teacher explaining theorem to group of students and asking schoolboy to writing equation on whiteboard

The impact of Socrates’ teaching methods on modern education

The field of education is constantly evolving as each new generation of learners brings new expectations and learning styles. One thing that has remained consistent throughout the years is that all learners want to have a positive and engaging educational experience.

This is why it is crucial for educational administrators and teachers to keep this in mind when planning and implementing curriculum programs. While most schools have a set of expectations for what students should have learned by the end of the program, the methods used to achieve these goals are not always clearly defined.

This allows teachers to use their own creativity and unique approaches to educate students within the framework of the curriculum. Socratic method was a pioneer in developing creative methods of teaching and learning and his influence can still be seen in the freedom and creativity that contemporary educators employ in their teaching methods today.

in the library - man teacher teach the student in library

The Educational Theories of Socrates

Socrates, known for his questioning nature, believed in the power of self-discovery in the pursuit of knowledge. He encouraged this by fostering a questioning attitude in his students and guiding them to think critically and draw their own conclusions, rather than simply providing them with answers.

He also placed a strong emphasis on experiential learning, believing that students should actively engage with and experience what they were studying, rather than only reading about it. These educational theories of Socrates continue to shape and influence modern education practices.

Socratic method developed various educational theories, such as:

  • Socrates’ theory of Value, which aimed to distinguish between trivial and important knowledge, in order to determine the most valuable knowledge worth pursuing.
  • The Theory of Knowledge, formulated by Socrates, categorized different types of knowledge and distinguished knowledge from personal belief.
  • The Theory of Human Nature, proposed by Socrates, delves into the unique qualities that separate humans from other species, with a particular focus on humans’ capacity to differentiate between right and wrong.
  • The Theory of Learning, developed by Socrates, posits that individuals can acquire knowledge only once they recognize their own ignorance, and that questioning is a fundamental aspect of the educational process.
  • The Theory of Transmission, propounded by Socrates, holds that there are many types of teachers and different methods can be effective in transmitting knowledge.
  • The Theory of Society, explored by Socrates, emphasizes that knowledge acquisition in his time was not confined to a specific classroom or learning environment, but rather took place through societal interactions. He examined this idea through the lens of the class system of ancient Athens.
  • The Theory of Opportunity, put forth by Socrates, addresses the question of who should have access to knowledge and who should be in a formal educational setting. He rejected the idea of acquiring knowledge for its own sake, instead advocating for knowledge that could be applied in one’s life or profession.
  • The Theory of Consensus, as put forward by Socrates, advocates that individuals should rely on their moral virtues to navigate disagreements and reach a consensus.

Photo student working on a whiteboard learning engineering and electronics stem education

Examples of Socrates’ Influence at Sampoerna Academy

Sampoerna Academy, an educational institution, has a strong influence on Socrates’ teachings, which can be seen in the learning environment. Students are encouraged to engage in critical thinking, questioning, and collaborative work through various projects and assignments.

Teachers at the academy strive to provide students with opportunities to apply their lessons in real-world settings.

In one of Grade 10 Business Studies classes, the teacher gave the students an assignment to create a brand for a new eco-friendly product. Instead of simply having them read a chapter in their textbook and answer questions about it, the teacher asked them to conduct market research, adjust their ideas based on feedback, price their product, and design packaging.

This hands-on project required creative thinking and teamwork and was more effective in teaching them about the business world because they were actively engaged in the experience and discovering their own skills through the experiential learning project.

As students look forward to their future aspirations, it is important for educators to look back and understand the historical influences that shape our educational systems. Socrates had a lasting impact on education through his emphasis on critical thinking, questioning, and self-discovery.

His legacy continues to be felt in modern education. Even with the vast amount of information available through the internet, the Socratic Method remains a valuable tool for educators.

By incorporating this approach, teachers can help students develop the skills to become lifelong learners, a vital attribute in today’s rapidly changing world.

It is important that educators not only focus on the content but also on the way that students acquire and process knowledge, in order to help them become critical and creative thinkers.

To gain a deeper understanding of how the principles of Socrates’ experiential learning approach are integrated in our middle school curriculum, as well as the overall educational philosophy of Sampoerna Academy, please contact our admission or schedule a visit to the school.