Friday, August 19, 2011

On teaching and grade inflation

Some professors cleverly include a "class participation" grade, and these professors pride themselves on using "the Socratic method."  Sigh.  Asking random students random questions is not the Socratic method, it's annoying,  In order for it to be a true Socratic method, the professor would have to ask the student to state a thesis, get him to agree to a number of assumptions, and then masterfully show, through dialogue, how that agreement undermined his own thesis.  In other words, the professor would have to have considerable fluency with his topic and be interested in each individual student, as an individual.  Good luck with that.

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