Socratic Questioning

Decorative: A picture of a statue of Socrates and the words "The Socratic Method"


"Using Socratic Questioning" (web page and links) outlines an "approach to teaching is one in which the instructor poses thoughtful questions to help students learn"

1. What Is Socratic Questioning?

  • An "intensely rigorous" "approach to teaching ... based on the practice of disciplined, rigorously thoughtful dialogue."

2. Why Use Socratic Questioning? (learning goals)

"Socratic questioning helps students to think critically by focusing explicitly on the process of thinking."

  • "During disciplined, carefully structured questioning, students must slow down and examine their own thinking processes (i.e., reflective thinking)."

"Thoughtful, disciplined questioning in the classroom can achieve the following teaching and learning goals:

  • "Model scientific practices of inquiry"
  • "Support active, student-centered learning"
  • "Facilitate inquiry-based learning"
  • "Help students to construct knowledge"
  • "Help students to develop problem-solving skills"
  • "Improve long-term retention of knowledge"

3. How to Use the Socratic Method in the Classroom

Topics covered in this section include the following:

  • Role of the teacher
  • Tips for the teacher (10 points)
  • Role of the student

4. Examples