The Flaws of the Socratic Method

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The Flaws of the Socratic Method
In Plato’s Republic, as well as in most of his other works, the philosopher writes dialogues between the character of his mentor, Socrates, and various figures meant to illustrate contradictory positions. He carefully scripts the engagements in a form of discussion now called the Socratic Method, where Socrates critiques the positions of the other characters in order to find flaws in inaccurate arguments. Although this method is prevalent even today, I will make the case that even when Plato himself is using it, the Socratic Method, while not without benefits, is an extremely flawed way of conducting educational discourse.
The Socratic Method is a dialectic method of argument, meaning that the
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The very nature of the Socratic Method makes for long and winding discussions, because the Method aims to strip away any falsehoods but provides few tools for building towards the truths for which it aims. Without a way to cull the ideas presented by the students, a professor must engage each of them as comprehensively as the next regardless of their accuracy, or else compromise the integrity of the dialogue. If he or she instead opts to inseminate information in a more traditional education style, each lecture and discussion can be tailored to divulge a specific concept and a specific and relevant set of arguments and objections can be presented and rejected, rather than struggling through a freeform conversation with inconsistent results varying from classroom to classroom (Ford 3) (Chen and Taylor).
Additionally, the constant refutation of students necessitated by a teacher engaging them in a Socratic Dialectic has a questionable impact on the academic outlook of students. Christopher Ford describes the modern usage of the Socratic Method as psychologically abusive, saying that the public questioning is terrifying and that the style is both ‘invasive in that student’s knowledge/intelligence is publically examined, and evasive in that the professor ‘hides the ball’ from the students.” This practice of systematically and ruthlessly deconstructing any and all flaws in a student’s argument can be extremely humiliating and can trigger
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