Using Socratic Questioning

This material was originally created for Starting Point:Introductory Geology
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.

Initial Publication Date: December 21, 2006

Created by Dorothy Merritts and Robert Walter, Franklin & Marshall College

Can it be, Ischomachus, that asking questions is teaching? I am just beginning to see what is behind all your questions. You lead me on by means of things I know, point to things that resemble them, and persuade me that I know things that I thought I had no knowledge of.

- Socrates (Quoted in Xenophon's "Economics")

What is Socratic Questioning?

Named for the early Greek philosopher/teacher Socrates, a Socratic approach to teaching is one in which the instructor poses thoughtful questions to help students learn. This is perhaps best demonstrated with an example. What is Socratic Questioning? (detailed description)

Why use Socratic Questioning?

Socratic Questioning provides unique opportunities for critical thinking and student reflection. Why Use Socratic Questioning? (learning goals)

How to use Socratic Questioning

How to Use Socratic Questioning (tips for developing questions and managing discussions)


Browse the Bibliography. books and links for more information


See how the method works in a geoscience classroom. Examples

      Next Page »