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50 Great Teachers: Socrates, The Ancient World's Teaching Superstar : NPR

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Socratic method is about asking questions.

Socrates didn't write anything down. And details of his life remainlargely unknown. Many of his ideas, and much of his life as a teacher and philosopher, are known largely through the writings of his best student, Plato, in his Dialogues.

But we do know that Socrates — the man and myth — valued reasoned, logical oral arguments that sought truth through probing discourse.

Today you can call Wolfe's Oakland classes Socratic. But maybe this is just what good teaching looks like: an engaged, passionate teacher facilitating a critical dialogue and acting as a kind of intellectual coach. Not a teacher merely lecturing or teaching to a test.

I asked 17-year-old Maddie Ahlers what she's gotten out of the program.

"I think that the Socratic method has to be a part of good teaching, because it's one thing to write an essay or be able to take a test," Ahlers says. "But later in life, you're gonna have to be able to articulate your own views and say verbally what you think about an issue or anything you believe."

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