This exciting new textbook provides a sophisticated examination of the Socratic method for teaching political science students in higher education. It shows how the Socratic method is employed in the Platonic dialogs, compares its transformative approach to other student-centered teaching philosophies, and addresses the challenges of adopting the Socratic method in the contemporary classroom.
The book is divided into three sections that integrate these practical aspects on the Socratic method with the theoretical considerations of Socratic philosophy while also addressing contemporary concerns about teaching and learning in higher education.
- Section One explores how the Socratic method is portrayed by Socrates in Plato’s dialogs.
- Section Two compares the Socratic method with modern and contemporary accounts of teaching and learning.
- Section Three examines some of the contemporary challenges of practicing the Socratic method in the university classroom today and how teachers can overcome them.
Written in a clear and engaging style, this timely intervention is essential reading for upper undergraduate students enrolled in courses that specialize in pedagogical techniques, political theory, Socratic philosophy, and law.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Socratic Method Today
Part 1: The Socratic Method in Plato’s Dialogues
1. Poetic Questions: Poetry in the Socratic Method
[Marlene K. Sokolon]
2. Socratic Method and Socratic Existence: Comedic Elements in the Apology
3. Guiding Eros Towards Wisdom in Alcibiades I: Socratic Education in Plato’s Alcibiades I
4. Skepticism, Recollection, and the Socratic Method
Part 2: The Socratic Method and Other Approaches
5. Socratic Method and Recollection in Plato and Kant
[Steven F. McGuire]
6. The Americanization of the Socratic Method
7. One of These Things is Not Like the Other: John Dewey’s Inquiry-Based Learning and the Socratic Method
[David W. Livingstone]
8. The Courage to Recover Student-Centered Learning: Plato’s Laches
[Jordon B. Barkalow]
Part 3: The Socratic Method in the Classroom
9. "No Guru, No Method, No Teacher": Socrates and Education
10. Is the Socratic Method Culturally Imperialistic?
11. Perilous Dialectics: The Continuing Hazards of the Socratic Method in Contemporary Universities
12. Socratic Method as a Search for Standards: Justice-Seeking, Knowledge-Seeking, and Critical Inquiry in Political Theory
[Ramona June Grey]
Lee Trepanier is Professor of Political Science at Saginaw Valley State University, USA; editor of Lexington Books’ Politics, Literature, and Film series; and author and editor of numerous books, the latest being Why the Humanities Matter Today: In Defense of Liberal Education (2017).
'This is a unique and important volume on the timeless Socratic Method and its importance to education. Its publication is timely, as many institutions of higher education are struggling to engage students in an active form of pedagogy. The essays in this volume are brilliant, insightful, and are sure to illuminate the path back to the timeless method pioneered by Socrates, the greatest teacher of liberal education who ever lived.' —Khalil Habib, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Salve Regina University, USA
'In our intellectually challenged age, students and professors alike would do well to rediscover the art of asking tough questions rather than demanding easy answers. In this superb collection of essays about Socrates, the authors show that an effective transformation of the modern classroom begins with a thoughtful recollection of this gadfly’s method of questioning.' — Grant Havers, author of Leo Strauss and Anglo-American Democracy: A Conservative Critique
'In The Socratic Method Today, Lee Trepanier has assembled a formidable group of teachers who not only understand Socratic dialogs, but practice the Socratic method in today’s university and college classrooms. They demonstrate the superiority of Socratic method over recently trendy teaching methods by showing how Socratic method is the most authentic form of student-based learning because, paradoxically, it is not a method. Each of the contributors shows how Socratic method is fundamentally about care of the soul, the essence of liberal education' —John von Heyking, Professor of Political Science, University of Lethbridge, Canada, author of The Form of Politics: Aristotle and Plato on Friendship
‘ … a fascinating, well designed, compellingly written, and superbly annotated as well as referenced book. I highly recommend it.’ — Boleslaw Z. Kabala, Journal of Political Science Education