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Socratic Method

The term Socratic method is generally applied to teaching approaches characterized by the use of questions in contrast to lecture, and it was coined in reference to the practice of Socrates, a 5th-century BCE Greek philosopher known for his use of questions and answers in examination of others’ views. Socrates’ pedagogical style, as depicted in the works of Plato, has been highly influential in the Western educational tradition, and the term now refers to a range of contemporary pedagogical practices bearing some similarity to the ancient method. While all of these approaches rely on an extensive use of questions, the contemporary practices vary significantly, including differences in settings, educational goals, and instructional roles. This entry provides an overview of both the ancient and contemporary approaches ...

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