Like much else, the idea that group learning works best goes back to the ancient Greeks. Socrates taught in groups through what he called the dialog or inquiry method. He did this because he believed that “only when an answer to a question prompts another question does the process of learning continue.” Fortunately for us, Plato was in his group and took notes and told us about the Socratic Method. 

The Master knew that all new understanding and knowledge is linked to previous understanding and knowledge. And he knew all about interpersonal interaction. He knew how to ask open-ended questions to begin a dialog and he watched as learning began. He did not lecture, and he never wrote anything down, yet he is considered the greatest and most innovative of all teachers. Sadly, his work has been ignored since the 1940s. 

His groups were nothing more than a small number of pupils combining in a self-directed, collaborative effort under the guidance of a teacher. The group attempted to learn from one another’s ideas, speculations, hypotheses, conjectures, intuitions, insights, and mistakes. Businesses still rely on this method. In the Lyceum, Socrates’ students read each other’s faces, interpreted each other’s gestures, and listened to the words being spoken. They used their interpersonal skills including the skill of listening carefully—an attribute their leader insisted upon them developing—to pursue knowledge. Socrates believed in kindling the flame of learning in each one of his students this way. He simply asked questions and let the group figure out an answer by asking and answering questions of their own. And not leaving it there but questioning the answers too.

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#Ideation #Hybridskills #Justifiedbelief #Futureproof #Infoliteracy. 

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Excerpted from my book Hybrid Learning.

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