There are two major modes of teaching that are discussed in academia. Do you see yourself in either of these descriptions?
Didactic – Passive Learning
1. Teacher-centered: based on the assumption that the teacher is the primary agent in learning.
2. Teacher’s role: to impart the results of experience, personal study, and reflection.
3. Primarily deductive: the usual methods are lecture, story telling, use of analogy, and aphorism.
4. Test of truth: authority and experience.
5. Learning is the reception of ideas.
6. Student’s role: to be passive, open, receptive,
trusting, and unquestioning.
7. Evaluation is factual recall of data–commonly in the form of objective tests–right and wrong answers.
8. Ultimate goal: wisdom viewed as the internalization of truths and beliefs.
Socratic – Active Learning
1. Problem-centered: based on the assumption that the student is the primary agent in learning.
2. Teacher’s role: to uncover the question that the answer hides. To be a co-learner.
3. Primarily inductive: the usual methods discussion, dialogue, and problem-solving.
4. Test of truth: reason and evidence.
5. Learning is a conflict of ideas: a thesis, antithesis, and a synthesis that results in new knowledge (Hegel).
6. Student’s role: to be active, questioning, critical, and discriminating–learning to trust one’s own judgment (independent thinking).
7. Evaluation is application of understanding interpretation of data–commonly in an essay, speech, journal, or a review.
8. Ultimate goal: wisdom viewed as an informed ignorance (knowing what one does not know–the Socratic paradox).