Is the idea of conducting Socratic dialogue in mathematics a new one for you? How does the metaphor of a midwife attending the labor of a student to give birth to an idea help define your role? What new ideas does it bring to mind in how to use Socratic dialogue in your math classroom? How can its use in mathematics prepare students to use Socratic dialogue in other disciplines?
Having a student construct a carefully articulated idea and then critically examine it for flaws takes patience on the part of both student and teacher. What kinds of questions will you need to ask to bring about this kind of critical thinking? How will these questions vary from student to student, depending on ability and temperament?
Theaetetus seems to bear the repeated failure of his ideas with maturity and humility. How can teachers ensure that students with less resilience are not discouraged when their ideas prove to be “wind eggs”? What are some specific ideas you can implement to keep your Socratic dialogue a discussion that helps students to their feet again rather than a controversy that intentionally trips them up?
What are some ways your own experience with Socratic dialogue—and more specifically, the defeat and refinement of your ideas—has helped shape your character? What are some practical ideas to translate your own history with Socratic dialogue into appreciation for the process in your students? How can you help them recognize the opportunity to participate in their own learning experience?
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