Do You Have 21st-Century Skills to Help Your Students Succeed? Do Your Students Have 21st-Century Skills to Think for Themselves? The Power of the Socratic Classroom has the answers you are looking for—answers that will supply the strategies to show students how to succeed into the future. A future that has unknown products, unidentified jobs, and unanticipated challenges. In Socratic Seminar, teachers shift to the role of facilitator, where they help their students develop the collaborative interpersonal skills, the critical and creative thinking skills, and the speaking and listening skills to face the upcoming challenges of the 21st century.
Charles Fischer has taught in public and private schools in a variety of settings, from rural Maine to inner city Atlanta. In the past 20 years, he has worked with a wide range of students from 4th grade to AP English and has been nominated for Teacher of the Year four times. He has his Master’s degree in Teaching & Learning from the University of Southern Maine, and received his B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from Binghamton University. His latest book, The Power of the Socratic Classroom, has won four awards, including the NIEA Best Education Book. His first novel, Beyond Infinity, won a 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award bronze medal (YA fiction). His areas of expertise are Socratic Seminar, Active Listening, Inquiry, Teaching & Learning, and Critical & Creative Thinking. He is currently working on a book of poetry, a short story collection, and several novels.
I always like to remind teachers that Socratic Seminars always hit Speaking & Listening standards, so they can be justified in many curriculum maps. For some reason, this always surprises people, probably because Speaking & Listening standards often get overlooked. In the current climate in the world, though, what could be more important than Listening? We need to help our students seek understanding from others so that they can become better decision makers.
The Power of the Socratic Classroom
An important part of establishing the purpose of Socratic Seminar is deciding how it is connected to the curriculum. Although curriculum frame-works include benchmarks and standards for critical and creative thinking, interpersonal skills and close reading, the reality is that measuring them is extremely difficult. Many state standards, therefore, focus on content transmission, since content can be more easily measured. The result is that Socratic Seminars must often be used to deliver content or at least supplement curricular content.