Two More Arguments for the Socratic Method

(1) Joi Ito chuckles over a week of a student’s electrodermal activity, a “measure of assessing alterations in sympathetic arousal associated with emotion, cognition, and attention”, noting that it “nearly flatlined during classes”.

(2) Lior Strahilevitz:

[T]he disparities between men and women speaking up in class remain substantial. The Speak Up Report somewhat sheepishly mentions an obvious solution, which seems to have substantial majority support from the Yale students surveyed: Cold-calling via the Socratic method, especially what the Report calls “warm-hearted cold calling.” A great virtue of cold-calling is that everybody speaks. While the report details various sensible steps that can encourage more women to speak up in class, it seems nothing will work better than having the majority of the class time be devoted to Socratic discussion rather than lecture followed by Q & A from volunteers.

Actually, in my experience with cold-calling, women often turn out to dominate the list of top performers…

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