Keywordssocratic pedagogy, dialogue, philosophical inquiry, community of inquiry, socratic dialogue, bohmian dialogue, critical thinking, creative thinking, caring thinking
440000 Philosophy and Religion
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AbstractThe Socratic Method has been an educational tool ever since Socrates himself turned the marketplace of Athens into a classroom, enticing his interlocutors into dialogue whereby they could have their assumptions questioned and learn to journey towards new conceptions of knowledge and understanding. This concept has been reflected recently in a current proposal by UNESCO for educators and philosophers to find ways in which philosophy and philosophical inquiry may be approached in current education practices to enhance democratic ways of life. I draw on the UNESCO idea of philosophy as a ‘school of freedom’ and contend that not only is dialogical inquiry useful to teaching and learning, but that it is necessary. Inquiry is viewed in this way as necessarily dialogical and I draw on both Charles Peirce’s and John Dewey’s views on inquiry as being situated within the community if it is to satisfy some of the aims of the UNESCO report. This dissertation proposes a framework for Socratic pedagogy, a collaborative inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning suitable not only for formal educational settings such as the school classroom but for all educational settings. The term is intended to capture a variety of philosophical approaches to classroom practice that could broadly be described as Socratic in form. I explore three models that, I argue, make a significant contribution to Socratic pedagogy: Matthew Lipman’s Community of Inquiry, Leonard Nelson’s Socratic Dialogue, and David Bohm’s Dialogue. I also draw on the metaphors used by each of the proponents because they give an additional insight into the theoretical underpinnings of their models of dialogue for the development of Socratic thinking. Socratic pedagogy is multi-dimensional, which I argue is underpinned by generative, evaluative, and connective thinking. These terms are better placed to describe Socratic pedagogy than creative, critical, and caring thinking, because they are defined by the function they perform. It is hoped that this dissertation offers some way to show how philosophy as inquiry can contribute to educational theory and practice, while also demonstrating how it can be an effective way to approach teaching and learning. This, I contend is foundational to Socratic pedagogy.