Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teaching with the Socratic Method: Can It Get you Fired?

Here’s the story of a professor who failed to get tenure because he used the Socratic method:

Some students didn't take well to Steven Maranville’s teaching style at Utah Valley University. They complained that in the professor’s “capstone” business course, he asked them questions in class even when they didn't raise their hands. They also didn't like it when he made them work in teams.

Those complaints against him led the university denying him tenure – a decision amounting to firing, according to a lawsuit  Maranville filed against the university this month. Maranville, his lawyer and the university aren't talking about the case, although the suit details the dispute.

The article in Inside Higher Ed offers details, relates stories of other professors who used the Socratic method and hurt their careers, and offers some pros and cons of teaching this way. As for me, as a student, I never liked the Socratic method, and as a teacher, I am not particularly skillful in employing it. As a result, I use it sparingly and rely on other methods of teaching, including various interactive methods.



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One most important tip is your good behavior, which is the key point of your teaching methodology. You should be a "mother" during teaching, kind, soft, loving and caring. Don't ever get tired of answering of same questions. A mother answer a query of child even asked a hundred times with the same degree of patience. Never hurt student with bitter words and rash replies.

Posted by: Are You a Teacher? | Feb 25, 2012 7:41:05 AM

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