Sophist or Socratic Teaching Methods in Fostering Learning in US Graduate Education

By Katherine Pang.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper provides an overview of some of the important characteristics of both the Socratic and Sophist traditions and discusses their impact and relation to graduate education in the United States. In the discussion, it is important to note that there are inherent conflicts that stem from the foundational principles of each of these teaching/learning traditions. For example, the Sophist and Socratic traditions emphasize different approaches to education, and the selection of an appropriate approach is contingent upon a myriad of factors including subject matter, learning outcomes, learning environment, time parameters, and so on. Furedy and Furedy (1986) suggested that Sophistic influences have been mainly implicit and manifest themselves in the shift towards instrumentalism and affective learning as well as in the choice of curricula and curricula development whereas a major contribution of the Socratic tradition to education is a disposition for disciplined inquiry, based on a readiness to question all assumptions. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the pros and cons of both methodologies in fostering learning.

Keywords: Pedagogy, Learning, Teaching Methodologies, Socratic, Sophist, Psychology

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp.197-202. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 521.390KB).

Dr. Katherine Pang

Faculty Member, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Texas at Tyler, Tyler, Texas, USA

Dr. Katherine Pang,PhD has been a speaker at many conferences around the world on e-Learning, cognition and instruction, instructional design and technology as well as law and business-related topics. Dr. Pang has over 25 years of expereince in the private sector as well as academia. She has law, business, and education degrees and has been a contributor to many professional organizations in law, technology, learning and instruction. She has founded several education-related companies and is a faculty member at the University of Texas at Tyler.


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