How to Teach Students how to Think

David Hicks on Socratic thinking:

By making his students conscious of their dialectical thinking processes, Socrates hoped to assign them parts in a dramatic dialogue that otherwise occurs unconsciously and haphazardly in the thinking mind. Once the conversation between Socrates and his students deliberately took on the dialectical form of mental activity, learning became possible. Man could now visualize and oversee his own mind at work.

From Norms and Nobility, page 67.

The point is, people are always thinking. There is nothing new to learn. But they need to be consious of how to think so they can do it better. It’s like when a runner joins the track team. He won’t be learning anything new; he’ll just be learning how to do what he already knows more consciously and, thus, better.


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