My AP World History Teacher Lied To Me

…and not just when she left out the part about the Basques fishing for Cod off New England for centuries before Columbus. Long story, there. I recommend reading Cod.

I am referring to the so-called Socratic method. I was told, after having taken, loved, and learned from a civics class where we debated all the time, that debate was a bad way to learn. I was told that it encouraged people to see only one side of the issue and then to entrench themselves, and so never really learn.

As an alternative, I was offered the “Socratic Method.”  We were told to read relevant documents and then to discuss cooperatively. This never really worked, because it was dead boring, but we were told it was better anyway. How could Socrates, famed philosopher, be wrong?

I’ll tell you how: he was a jerk! He never cooperatively questioned anything! He did question everyone rather then state an opinion, but he did this as a cross examination. That style of questioning in Greek thought wasn’t even intended to necessarily show that the other person’s thesis was wrong, but rather that they were contradictory. This style lives on today, known as the cross examination.

Mrs. Stedman, I am hurt.  But I’ll let it go, if you let us debate history the next chance we get.


One Response to “My AP World History Teacher Lied To Me”

  1. Moi Says:

    Lmao. I know. It’s amazing. The Republic is ALL socratic questioning, but it’s pretty fun to read.

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