Socratic Method: Ask Questions Rather Than Know All of the Answers

Presented by: Pat Wagner

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Program Number: AE 216

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Teachers are sometimes too quick to provide answers. Good questions involve students emotionally and intellectually and help foster active learning, rather than simple memorization of facts. To be willing to build a class on questions takes some courage. Are you willing to risk being wrong? Lose control of the class? Have students criticize the material? Have them grow beyond your limitations? Own the material, and make it better?


  • Introduction: A History Of Socratic Method And Refutation
  • The Key Idea: How Can You Use Questions To Improve Your Classes
  • What Makes An Effective Question
  • How To Structure A Class Using Questions
  • What Subjects Work Best In This Model
  • Examples Of Good Questions
  • Dealing With The Unexpected


  • Better engage students in classroom conversations.
  • Teach critical thinking through example.
  • Incorporate effective questions to refresh familiar material.

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