Educational Theory of Socrates Sample Essay

The intent of this essay is to give the reader an penetration into the educational theories of Socrates. It is instead hard to derive any information from first manus written histories of Socrates work as he barely of all time took down notes and the lone histories that have stood the trial of clip are those that were documented by Plato. a pupil of Socrates. In existent fact most of what we know is from subsequently people such as Aristophanes. Xenophen. Plato and Aristotle. These histories are what have been formulated into Socrates theories. This poses some inquiries as to whether the theories that have been accredited to the adult male himself were really his or instead a 2nd manus reading from those that came after.

Born in Athens in 469 B. C and thought to hold born into a on the job category household. It is non documented what his male parent did for a life but the general sentiment is that he was a stonemason and his female parent was believed to hold been a accoucheuse. Socrates fought for Athens in the Peloponnesian war sometimes take parting in the political relations that ensued after the war had finished. He married and raised one kid with his married woman but it is thought that he had another two kids with his 2nd married woman. It was after this that he started to develop his ideas and theories. He began to oppugn what cognition was. how it was acquired and what made worlds different from animate beings in their acquisition and instruction ( see appendix 1 ) . Socrates believed in the single acquisition capablenesss of his pupils. By inquiring them continual inquiries he would ne’er take them to an reply but instead enable them to happen the reply that they sought themselves.

Merely by uncluttering the head of anterior formed thoughts could the pupil have the infinite and deepness to analyze the inquiry and happen an reply. He “felt that life is non deserving populating unless you examine your life to cognize whom you are. what you believe. and what you want to go. To cognize yourself should be a major project in your life. If a individual is happy merely to be. so what is the point of life? ” ( Love to cognize Corporation 2011 ) This can be considered similar to the Humanistic attack to acquisition and the plants of Rogers self-initiated acquisition and Maslow with his theory of self-actualisation where the accent on acquisition is laid with the person and those straight around them. Likewise the work of Magaluzzi and his Reggio Emilia schools who believe that “Instead of us learning the kids utilizing a slow and deadening bit-by-bit procedure. we try to allow them get down and work out complex jobs on their own” ( Achtner. W. 1994 ) can be seen as similar to the theories of Socrates.

Socrates accepted that he knew small and merely by accepting what an single didn’t know could they so be educated “The ends of instruction are to cognize what you can ; and. even more significantly. to cognize what you do non know” ( Burgess. B 2008 ) He despised those who sought out cognition merely to look more intelligent than others. To him going a good and true individual was a merchandise of acquisition and fed the psyche. Lies and immorality occurred through ignorance and would forestall one from going a good and wise person. Education was a unstable procedure for Socrates and he would learn at any given chance or when a pupil would inquire a inquiry but ne’er laid a charge on them. This could be in a field or on an unfastened street. He believed that unfastened infinites with workss and beautiful edifices were more contributing to larning and that being close to nature enabled clearer thought of his pupils. This is really similar to the beliefs of Maria Montessori and that “The environment has to be ready and beautiful for the kid that it invites them to work.

Their drama is their work and they are still basking it. The adult’s function so is to build their environment in which they will larn. The development of the kid is dependent hence on the environment he is in. and the environment includes the parents” ( Daily Montessori 2009 ) . This is still in instruction today. the usage of natural stuffs and unfastened infinites with natural daytime. In his development of his theory he claimed that there were two types of cognition. Ordinary and Higher ( see appendix 1 ) and that the larning capablenesss of the human are endless. He referred to the psyche as the inner ego and as such it held the positiveness. goodness and truth that a human required to go wise. With his following going greater due to his methods and beliefs he attracted the attending of the governments who thought that he was act uponing the immature work forces with witchery. “denying the Gods recognized by the province and presenting alternatively of them unusual deities ; of perverting the immature ; that he taught the immature to disobey parents and defenders and to prefer his ain authorization to theirs” ( Love to Know Corporation 2011 ) ( see appendix 2 ) .

This was considered unacceptable. Unfortunately his positions that merely the knowing should do the determinations for those beneath them besides went against the democratic society of that clip. This changed the sentiment of some of the Athenian people who at foremost thought he was a bookman and a wise adult male to him going a societal outcast. It is of import to advert that Socrates ne’er considered himself to be a instructor more so an pedagogue of work forces. this was extremely unusual at the clip as instruction was really formal and merely for those who could afford to pay for it. This is something that could hold made him appear sinister in the sentiments of the Athenian nobility and lawgivers who were to put him on test. He was found guilty and offered the pick of his ain. should he hold chosen to be exiled so he may good hold lived but alternatively he appeared to keep the tribunal and the jury in disdain by proposing that he should be “awarded for his work instead” ( EyeWitness to History 2003 ) . Finally it was passed that he would confront the decease punishment by imbibing toxicant. in consequence perpetrating self-destruction.

There can be no uncertainty that Socrates theories have helped to determine the theories of those that have come after. His thoughts of free acquisition and authorising the person to oppugn their ain ideas and thoughts assisting to develop their single acquisition are still apparent in today’s schools of theories and instruction. Like Freud who in certain countries of idea is considered to be the establishing male parent of psychological science it could be argued that Socrates theories of over two thousand old ages ago are in fact the foundations of modern educational theories and believes today.

Appendix 1
The Educational Theories of Socrates
I. Theory of Value: What cognition and accomplishments are worthwhile larning? What are the ends of instruction? Socrates believed that there were different sorts of cognition. of import and fiddling. He acknowledges that most of us know many “trivial” things. He states that the craftsman possesses of import cognition. the pattern of his trade. but this is of import merely to himself. the craftsman. But this is non the of import cognition that Socrates is mentioning to. The most of import of all cognition is “how best to populate. ” He posits that this is non easy answered. and most people live in black ignorance sing affairs of moralss and ethical motives. ( Brickhouse & A ; Smith 1. p. 30 ) Through his method of strongly oppugning his pupils. he seeks to steer them to detect the capable affair instead than merely stating them what they need to cognize. The ends of instruction are to cognize what you can ; and. even more significantly. to cognize what you do non cognize. II. Theory of Knowledge: What is knowledge? How is it different from belief? What is a error? What is a prevarication? Socrates makes the claim there are two really different kinds of cognition. One is ordinary cognition.

This is of really specific ( and ordinary ) information. ( Brickhouse & A ; Smith 1. p. 118 ) He claims that to hold such cognition does non give the owner of said cognition any expertness or wisdom worth adverting. The higher cognition could perchance be described as definitional cognition. Socrates is highly interested in specifying words and constructs. He accepts the chase of definitional cognition as a precedence to philosophical treatment. ( Brickhouse & A ; Smith 1. p. 118 ) Socrates devotes much thought to the construct of belief. through the usage of logic. He spars with pupils early in his calling and subsequently with his accusers. at his test. on the nature of his belief sing the Gods. To specify belief. harmonizing to Socrates. was to utilize realistic accounts for phenomena traditionally explained in footings of Divine Agency. ( Brickhouse & A ; Smith 2. p. 181 ) His belief in the wisdom and goodness of Gods is derived from human logic and his natural agnosticism. Any individual who knows what goodness. or truth is. will populate that manner.

The lone prevarication or evil comes about when one is nescient of good. Man will ne’er knowingly lie even if he thinks he is. It is his ignorance of goodness and truth that prevents him from being a wise and honest adult male. III. Theory of Human Nature: What is a human being? How does it differ from other species? What are the bounds of human potency? The being in homo is an inner-self. This inner-self is godly. can non decease. and will brood everlastingly with the Gods. Merely human existences can separate virtuousness. which is cognition. from ignorance. which is the root of moral immorality. ( Easton pp. 72 & A ; 73 ) The human being is so established that he “can” cognize the good. And. cognizing it. he can follow it. for no 1 who truly knows the good would intentionally take to follow the immorality. This is a typically Grecian impression. and is attractive to all positivists. ( Easton pp. 72 & A ; 73 ) Merely the human being has these capablenesss. From experience. it can be known that intellectually the human potency is minute.

The head of adult male is invariably making out for more and more cognition. merely as his will is wishful of more and more love. The hunt for cognition varies with the person. but the race of adult male has ever carried on the quest in conformity with its nature and for the practical and bad value that knowledge brings with it. ( Noonan 1957 ) IV. Theory of Learning: What is larning? How are accomplishments and cognition acquired? Learning is the seeking of truth in affairs. and it occurs when after oppugning and construing the wisdom and cognition of others. one comes to acknowledge their ain ignorance. Skills and cognition are acquired by: ( 1 ) construing the statements of others ; ( 2 ) testing or analyzing the cognition or wisdom of those reputed ( by themselves or others ) to be wise ; ( 3 ) demoing those who are non wise their ignorance ; ( 4 ) acquisition from those who are wise ; ( 5 ) analyzing oneself ; ( 6 ) cheering others to doctrine ; ( 7 ) analyzing the lives of others ; ( 8 ) achieving moral cognition. ( Benson p. 17 )

V. Theory of Transmission: Who is to learn? By what methods? What will be the course of study be? Socrates does non believe that any one individual or any one school of idea is important or has the wisdom to learn “things. ” Socrates repeatedly disavows his ain cognition and his ain methods. However. this appears to be a technique for prosecuting others and authorising the curator to openly dialogue. Be that as it may. Socrates is widely regarded as one of the great instructors of all clip. The Socratic method is one in which a instructor. by inquiring prima inquiries. ushers pupils to discovery. It was a dialectical method that employs critical enquiry to sabotage the plausibleness of widely-held philosophy. ( Brickhouse & A ; Smith 1. p. 53 ) Socrates devoted himself to a free-wheeling treatment with the blue immature citizens of Athens. insistently oppugning their indefensible assurance in the truth of popular sentiments. even though he frequently offered them no clear alternate instruction.

VI. Theory of Society: What is society? What establishments are involved in the instruction procedure? To the category of Athenians that Socrates was born into. society existed to supply the best life for the person. The Athenians of Socrates’ twenty-four hours assumed merely as their ascendants had assumed that the best life one could hold. required the acquisition of what was called virtuousness. or excellence. A genuinely good individual succeeded in making great things for the metropolis. purely obeyed its jurisprudence. honoured parents and ascendants. conscientiously paid court to the Gods by purely obeying the conventions regulating supplication and forfeit. ( Brickhouse & A ; Smith 1. p. 19 ) Athens’ political system was a extremist. take parting democracy in which every Athenian male citizen could-and was expected to-vote. keep office. and serve on the really powerful Athenian juries. ( Brickhouse & A ; Smith 1. p. 18 )

Societies are constantly formed for a peculiar intent. Persons are non self-sufficing ; no one working entirely can get all the echt necessities of life. Separations of maps and specialisation of labor are cardinal. Society is composed of distinguishable categories ( haberdashers. husbandmans. builders. etc. ) . In add-on. there are those that manage society and settle differences. In Plato’s Republic. he uses the fictional character Socrates as spokesman for explicating the cardinal rules for the behavior of human life. ( World Wide Web. philosophypages. com/hy/29. htm # beginnings )

Education took topographic point in brilliant edifices such as the Parthenon and Hephaisteion. which adorn the Acropolis and the Agora. the big unfastened country at the forepart of the Acropolis that consisted of the Athenian market topographic point and Public Square. ( Brickhouse & A ; Smith 1. p. 18 ) However. instruction took topographic point wherever and whenever. and the constructs of schooling. colleges. and establishments had non yet arrived. VII. Theory of Opportunity: Who is to be educated? Who is to be schooled? Socrates was the antithesis of elitist outlook. Socrates rejected “the chase of knowledge” for its ain interest as a psychotic belief and a trap. inasmuch as cognition. properly alleged is unachievable. and a trap. insofar as it draws us off from the survey of behavior ( World Wide Web. 2020site. org/socrates ) In other words. the chase of art. cosmology. or any specific subject blurred the quest for truth. The practical cognition that experts had in their several Fieldss was fiddling and unimportant to anyone but they themselves.

He wanted to educate. challenge. inquiry and argument work forces of ignorance misidentifying themselves as knowing. and by making so. to advance their rational and moral betterment. Socrates’ unfastened and non-dogmatic manner and his accent on what other individuals thought instead than on his ain thoughts led to several single subjects traveling their separate ways. The consequence was several outstanding schools. with the most influential being the Platonic doctrine. Even though Socrates rejected the “pursuit of knowledge” per Se. there are many contradictions evident to bespeak that he did see himself as an pedagogue whose end was to see others learn.

VIII. Theory of Consensus: Why do people differ? How is consensus achieved? Whose sentiment takes precedency? Socrates’ chief focal point throughout his public instruction life is the geting by the person of self-knowledge. He believes that goodness and truth. positive kernels and pure ethical and moral inherent aptitudes are placed at that place divinely in the psyche. ( World Wide Web. san. beck. org/c & A ; s-compared. htm # 6 ) However. they are non brought to consciousness unless they are awakened or learned. Therefore. consensus on the of import things in life is merely below the surface waiting to be acknowledged.

It is the fate of world to seek out virtuousness such as bravery and self-denial. or properness over the desires of aspirations or emotions that cloud the quest for truth. The construct of ignorance is what stands in the manner of consensus and that one time one realizes that he does non cognize. a alteration in any dissension can happen. If we can acknowledge the value of virtuousness. we so can use it and better the quality of our lives. It will take precedency over personal power and the satisfaction of desire and pleasance. The life-long chase of self-reformation. the desire for wisdom is merely come-at-able when 1 can see their ain mistakes and failings and negative inclinations.

Appendix 2
The Accusations Against Socrates
The life led by Socrates was non likely to win for him either the fondness or the regard of the vulgar. Those who did non cognize him personally. seeing him with the eyes of the amusing poets. conceived him as a “visionary” and a “bore. ” Those who had faced him in statement. even if they had non smarted under his reproofs. had at any rate winced under his interrogation. and regarded him in effect with feelings of disfavor and fright. But the eccentricity of his mastermind and the ailment will borne towards him by persons are non of themselves sufficient to account for the calamity of 399. It therefore becomes necessary to analyze the fortunes of the test. and to look into the motivations which led the accusers to seek his decease and the people of Athens to assent in it. Socrates was accused ( 1 ) of denying the Gods recognized by the province and presenting alternatively of them unusual deities and ( 2 ) of perverting the immature. The first of these charges rested upon the ill-famed fact that he supposed himself to be guided by a Godhead visitor or mark.

The 2nd. Xenophon tells us. was supported by a series of peculiar allegations: ( a ) that he taught his associates to contemn the establishments of the province. and particularly election by batch ; ( B ) that he had numbered amongst his associates Critias and Alcibiades. the most unsafe of the representatives of the oligarchical and democratical parties severally ; ( degree Celsius ) that be taught the immature to disobey parents and defenders and to prefer his ain authorization to theirs ; ( vitamin D ) that he was in the wont of citing arch transitions of Homer and Hesiod to the bias of morality and democracy. It is apparent that the defence was non calculated to pacify a hostile jury. However. it is at first sight hard to understand how an inauspicious finding of fact became possible. If Socrates rejected parts of the conventional of the mythology. he accepted the established religion and defence. performed its offices with model regularity. If he talked of a divinatory mark. it was divinely accorded to him. presumptively by the Gods of the province.

If he questioned the properness of certain of the establishments of Athens. he was prepared to give an resolute obeisance to all. He had ne’er countenanced the misbehaviors of Critias and Alcibiades. and so. by a crisp animadversion. had earned the deathless hate of one of them. Duty to parents he inculcated as he inculcated other virtuousnesss ; and. if he made the boy wiser than the male parent. certainly that was non a mistake. The commendation of a few lines from the poets ought non to weigh against the clear grounds of his big hearted nationalism ; and it might be suspected that the accuser had queerly misrepresented his application of the familiar words. To the modern reader Xenophon’s answer. of which the foregoing is in consequence a sum-up. will likely look sufficient. and more than sufficient. But it must non be forgotten that Athenians of the old school approached the topic from an wholly different point of position. Socrates was in all things an pioneer. in faith. in every bit much as he sought to extinguish from the divinity of his coevalss “those lies which poets tell “ ; in political relations. in every bit much as he distrusted several establishments dear to Athenian democracy ; in instruction. in every bit much as he waged war against authorization. and in a certain sense made each adult male the step of his ain actions.

It is because Socrates was an pioneer that we. who see in him the laminitis of philosophical enquiry. see him as a great adult male ; it was because Socrates was an pioneer that old -fashioned Athenians. who saw’ in the new fangled civilization the beginning of all their recent hurts and catastrophes. regarded him as a great felon. It is. so. after all in no wise strange that a bulk was found foremost to articulate him guilty. and afterwards. when he refused to do any entry and professed himself apathetic to any extenuation of the punishment. to go through upon him the sentence of decease. That the finding of fact and the sentence were non in any manner illegal is by and large acknowledged. But. though the popular misgiving of eccentricity. the annoyance of persons and groups of persons. the attitude of Socrates himself. and the prevalent disfavor of the rational motion which he represented. travel far to account for the consequence of the test. they do non explicate the Attack. Socrates’ oddness and. demeanour were no new things ; yet in the yesteryear. though they had made him unpopular. they had non brought him into the tribunals.

His hardy opposition to the demos in 406 B. C. and to the Thirty in 404 had passed. if non unnoticed. at all events unpunished. His political unorthodoxies and general heterodoxy had non caused him to be excluded from the amnesty of 403. Why was it so. that in 399. when Socrates’ foibles were more than of all time familiar. and when the fundamental law had been restored. the acceptance hitherto extended to him was withdrawn? What were the particular fortunes which induced three members of the nationalist party. two of them taking politicians. to unify their attempts against one who seemingly was so small formidable? For an reply to this inquiry it is necessary to look to the history of Athenian political relations. Besides the oligarchical party. decently so called. which in 411 was represented by the Four Hundred and in 404 by the Thirty. and the democratical party. which returned to power in 410 and in 403. there was at Athens during the last old ages of the Peloponnesian War a party of “moderate oligarchs. ” counter to both.

It was to procure the cooperation of the moderate party that the Four Hundred in 411 promised to represent the Five Thousand. and that the Thirty in 404 really constituted the Three Thousand. It was in the hope of recognizing the aspirations of the moderate party that Theramenes. its most outstanding representative. allied himself. foremost with the Four Hundred. afterwards with the Thirty. In 411 the policy of Theramenes was temporarily successful. the Five Thousand supplanting the Four Hundred. In 404 the Thirty outwitted him ; for though they acted upon his advice so far as to represent the Three Thousand. they were careful to maintain all existent power in their ain custodies. But on both occasions the “ polity” for such. in the Aristotelean sense of the term. the fundamental law of 411 – 410 was. and the fundamental law of 404 – 403 professed to be was insecurely based. so that it was non long before the “unmixed democracy” was reconstruct The plan of the “ centrists “ which included ( 1 ) the restriction of the franchise. by the exclusion of those who were unable to supply themselves with the panoply of a hoplite and therefore to render to the metropolis significant service. ( 2 ) the abolishment of payment for the public presentation of political maps. and. as it would look. ( 3 ) the neglect of the batch in the election of magistrates. found exceptional favour with the rational category.

Therefore Alcibiades was amongst its boosters. and Thucydides commends the fundamental law established after the autumn of the Four Hundred as the best which in his clip Athens had enjoyed. Now it is expressly stated that Socrates disliked election by batch ; it is certain that sing paid educational service as a species of harlotry. he would account paid political service non a shred less abominable ; and the emphasis laid by the accuser upon the Homeric citation. becomes apprehensible if we may say that Socrates. like Theramenes. wished to curtail the franchise to those who were rich plenty to function as hoplites at their ain disbursal. Therefore. as might hold been anticipated. Socrates was a “moderate. ” and the intervention which he received from both the utmost parties suggests that Socrates attempted a rescue-that his understanding with the moderate party was pronounced and ill-famed. Even in the minute of democratic victory the “moderates” made themselves heard. Phormisius suggesting that those entirely should exert the franchise who possessed land in Attica ; and it is sensible to say that their place was stronger in 399 than in 403.

These considerations seem to bespeak an easy account of the indictment of Socrates by the democratic politicians. It was a blow struck at the “moderates. ” Socrates being singled out for onslaught because. though non a professional politician. he was the really type of the malcontent party. and had done much. likely more than any adult male life. to do and to further positions which. if non in the rigorous sense of the term oligarchical. were true hostile to the “unmixed democracy. ” His eccentricity and unorthodoxy. every bit good as the personal animuss which he had provoked. doubtless contributed. as his accusers had foreseen. to convey about the strong belief ; but in the judgement of the present author. it was the fright of what may be called philosophical radicalism which prompted the action of Meletus. Anytus and Lycon. The consequence did non let down their outlooks. The friends of Socrates abandoned the battle and retired into expatriate ; and. when they returned to Athens. the most outstanding of them. Plato. was careful to restrict himself to theory. and to denote in emphasized footings his backdown from the practical political relations of his native metropolis.


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