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  • Aki Margaritis

Benefits of Using Socratic Discussion in the Montessori Middle School



Socratic discussion is a method of teaching and learning that is based on the ideas and methods of the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. The goal of Socratic discussion is to help students think critically and deeply about a topic, and to encourage them to question their own assumptions and beliefs.


At its core, Socratic discussion is a dialogue between the teacher and the students. The teacher poses a question or problem related to the topic at hand, and the students respond with their own thoughts and ideas. The teacher then asks follow-up questions, which help to clarify and expand on the students' responses.

One of the key features of Socratic discussion is that it is student-centered. The teacher does not provide the answers, but rather helps the students to discover them for themselves. This allows students to take ownership of their learning, and to develop a deeper understanding of the topic.


Another important aspect of Socratic discussion is that it encourages critical thinking. The teacher's questions are designed to challenge students to think more deeply and critically about the topic. This can help students to identify and question their own assumptions and beliefs, and to see the topic from multiple perspectives.

Socratic discussion is also a wonderful way to promote active learning. By participating in the discussion, students are actively engaging with the material and applying their knowledge in real-time. This can help to make the material more meaningful and relevant to the students and can also help to improve their retention of the information.


Socratic discussion can be used in a wide range of subjects and settings. It is commonly used in humanities and social sciences, but can also be used in science, math, and other subjects. It can be used in traditional classroom settings, as well as in online and distance learning environments.


To facilitate a successful Socratic discussion, it is important for the teacher to be well-prepared. This includes having a clear understanding of the topic and the students' prior knowledge, as well as having a plan for the discussion. It is also important for the teacher to be an active listener and to be open to the students' ideas and perspectives.


Socratic discussion can be a powerful tool for teaching and learning. It encourages critical thinking, active learning, and student-centered learning. It is a terrific way to help students develop a deeper understanding of a topic and to see it from multiple perspectives. Overall, Socratic discussion is a valuable method of teaching and learning that can help students to become more independent, critical thinkers and lifelong learners.


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