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Education in the Greek Civilization
One could easily point to Ancient Greek Civilization as the birthplace of modern education and educational philosophy. Three Greek philosophers: Plato, Socrates and Aristotle are among the most important philosophers of all time. Their ideas can be seen as the basis for much of modern American educational thought.
Socrates [470 BCE – 399 BCE] is considered by many to be the “founder of Western philosophy.” He taught that the key to a good life was in the practice of “virtue.” His ideas come to us through Plato, who was his student. His famous axiom was to “know thyself.” He is best known to us today for the “Socratic Method” of teaching (Darkside, 2009).
The “Socratic Method,” is carried out by asking and having his students ask questions, rather than by lecturing or ‘teaching.’ While most schools today are characterized by a great deal of lecture, schools using a Socratic Method base learning on the student, not the teacher. Rather than being a purveyor of knowledge, a Socratic teacher uses questioning to draw out learning from the students. The Socratic teacher focuses the discussion; keeps it on a high intellectual plane; involves all members of the class actively; and asks probing questions and periodically summarizes as a way of teaching (Seiferth, 1997).
Darkside. (2009). Greek Philosopher: Socrates. Hubpages.com. Retrieved October 10, 2009