Socrates Is The Most Influential Teacher In History

Socrates inspires me to not just teach but to educate by forming studies and conversation amongst students, by asking and answering questions to motivate critical thinking and to bring about new ideas. He taught us that feeding students endless content to remember is similar to repeatedly stepping on the brakes in a vehicle that is, unfortunately, already at rest. Instead, students need questions to turn on their intellectual engines and they must themselves generate questions from our questions to get their thinking to go somewhere. Thinking is of no use unless it goes somewhere, and again, the questions we ask determine where our thinking goes. It is only when our thinking goes somewhere that we learn anything of value to us.

The phrase Socratic questioning is used to describe a kind of questioning in which an original question is responded to as though it were an answer. This in turn forces the first questioner to reformulate a new question in light of the progress of the discourse. The Socratic method examines universal, frequently held facts that form opinion, and analyzes them to define their dependability with other theories. This method uses a sequence of questions that test logic and fact to help a person or group discover their beliefs about some topic, exploring the definitions, looking to show the basic traits shared by various particular instances. Aristotle attributed to Socrates the discovery of the method of definition and induction, which he regarded as the essence of the scientific method.

In the second half of the 5th century BC, sophists were teachers who specialized in using the tools of philosophy and rhetoric to entertain or impress or persuade an audience to accept the speaker’s point of view. Socrates encouraged an alternative method of teaching which came to be called the Socratic. Socrates began to engage in such discussions with his fellow Athenians after his friend from youth, Chaerephon, visited the Oracle of Delphi, which established that no man in Greece was wiser than Socrates. Socrates saw this as a contradiction, and began using the Socratic method to answer his conundrum.

Deep questions drive our thought underneath the surface of things, force us to deal with complexity. Questions of purpose force us to define our task. Questions of information force us to look at our sources of information as well as at the quality of our information. Questions of interpretation force us to examine how we are organizing or giving meaning to information and to consider alternative ways of giving meaning. Questions of assumption force us to examine what we are taking for granted. Questions of implication force us to follow out where our thinking is going. Questions of point of view force us to examine our point of view and to consider other relevant points of view. Questions of relevance force us to discriminate what does and what does not bear on a question. Questions of accuracy force us to evaluate and test for truth and correctness. Questions of precision force us to give details and be specific. Questions of consistency force us to examine our thinking for contradictions. Questions of logic force us to consider how we are putting the whole of our thought together, to make sure that it all adds up and makes sense within a reasonable system of some kind.

Socrates takes teaching to a deeper level. I plan to be an educator; someone who helps you obtain knowledge within yourself. I want to help my students become better learners, better thinkers. Socrates is the most influential teacher in history.


Why Did I Choose To Go To A HBCU

After attending a Black College Tour covering HBCUs in Alabama, Georgia and Florida during my junior year of high school…I was completely sold that I was going to a HBCU. At that time I had convinced myself that I would attend a HBCU and not a predominantly white institution because I admired seeing African-Americans as a whole bettering them educationally. From this experience, I felt that the sky was the limit; if African-Americans could assist one another in obtaining an education then African-Americans could accomplish any vision. It was very empowering!

So I began a search to choose a HBCU that my parents and I could agree on because I felt destined to be a part of such an experience. They too, attended a HBCU, along with one of my brothers and various family members. And after much discussion with family members, friends and most importantly graduates of Florida A&M University, we decided this is where I’d give it a try. But my work wasn’t done.

I had received a full ride to an out of state HBCU and my father needed to be convinced why he would willingly pay tuition for me to attend another HBCU. So we traveled to attend FAMU’s infamous “Set Friday” and he was completely sold. From the cheerfulness of the students to the administration rules and guidelines and some financial assistance as a Pharmacy major; we were convinced that FAMU was the place for me.