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Lizamarie C. Olegario
U.P. College of Education
Ancient Greek Philosophy
first discovered and discussed the
fundamental Principles of
most significantly, little has been
added to their knowledge since.

Socrates (469-399 BC)
philosopher of Athens and an
admired soldier
son of a sculptor/ stone mason and
a midwife
said that he did not teach, but
rather served to truth that is already
in us
The Cave Analogy
the process of coming to know the
good by means of education.
cave in which humans are chained
from birth facing a wall.
Behind them, puppet-masters carry
figurines which cast shadows on
the wall in front of the prisoners.
The Cave Analogy
Because they know nothing else, the
prisoners assume the shadows to be the
extent of reality
but what they see and hear is actually
only a small segment of the intelligible
The new education is meant to free the
prisoners from their false opinions and

The Cave Analogy
If a prisoner was unchained and
allowed to leave the cave and see
reality, at first, he would be pained
and disoriented by the foreign
When told that his experience in the
cave was not entirely real, he would
rebel--and not without reason
The Cave Analogy
But once he focuses on what is, he
will be happier than ever before and
will never want to return to the cave.
Furthermore, if he did try to return
to the cave and help the other
prisoners, they would hate him,
calling him corrupt and delusional
because their reality is still limited
to the shadows in the cave.
The Cave Analogy
The good is beyond perceived
reality and is hard to see, but once
the good is understood, it is clear
that it "is the cause of all that is
right and fair in everything," and
must be possessed and understood
by prudent rulers.

The Cave Analogy
it seems as if the natures with
which children are born matter less
than their education; anyone can be
a philosopher with the right training.
The purpose of the philosopher-
kings' education is to eventually
teach children how to distinguish
right from wrong by showing them
the whole truth.

Socrates (469-399 BC)
Used questions and answers
to remind his students of
called maieutics (midwifery), or the
Socratic method.
Married to Xanthippe
but had a tendency to fall in love
with handsome young men
in particular a young soldier named

Socratic Method
Socratic Method
Socratic Method
Socratic questions can be phrased in three general ways:
1) To explore a general aspect of course material.
"Describe different types of tectonic movement along
plate boundaries."
2) To encourage creativity and brainstorming.
"Think of as many causes as possible for the origin of a
large boulder found perched upon a nearly flat plain that
is underlain by a rock type different from that of the
3) To focus attention on a specific problem.
"Compare the evidence used by scientists to support the
idea of biological evolution (or modern global warming)
with that used by others who reject the possibility of
evolution (or global warming)."
Types of Questions
Questions of Clarification
What is your main point?
Can you give me an example?
What is the source of that idea or
Can you summarize what we

Types of Questions
Questions that Probe Assumptions
What are you assuming?
How would you support your
Types of Questions
Questions that Probe Reasons and
What did you observe in the
What evidence supports your
Types of Questions
Questions that Probe Implications
and Consequences
What effect would that have?
What could you generalize from
this observation?
What does that remind you of?
What do you predict will happen

Socratic Method
Teacher Preparation
1.) Intersentence, Literal, or
Opening (create 3 of these)
- a general question that directs
students into the text
- an introductory or exploratory
question related to a topic that is
easy for students to locate in the
Socratic Method
2.) Text, Analysis, or Core (create 3 or 4 of these)
- a question about specific content, theme, or main
- an inquiry that challenges students to examine a
central position
- a request to interpret or explore a passage in the
- a "how...?" or "why...?" question
- a challenge to students to compare and contrast
characters, motivations, descriptions, tones, etc.
- an examination of vocabulary or interesting
Socratic Method
3.) Beyond Text, Evaluative, or
Closing (create 3 or 4 of these)
- a question that establishes the
relevance of the text to students
- an inquiry that connects the text
with the real world
- an application of the text to self
- a comparison of the text with real
Socrates (469-399 BC)
He was, by all accounts, short and stout,
not given to good grooming, and a lover
of wine and conversation
described as having neglected his own
spent his time discussing virtue, justice,
and piety wherever his fellow citizens
sought wisdom about right conduct
so that he might guide the moral and
intellectual improvement of Athens.

Socrates (469-399 BC)
never wrote any of his ideas down
rather engaged his students --
wealthy young men of Athens -- in
endless conversations
In exchange for his teaching, his
students in turn made sure that he
was taken care of
Since he claimed to have few needs,
he took very little, much to his
wifes distress
Socrates (469-399 BC)
for conventional Athenians, Socrates
was a troublemaker
deliberately provocative questions about
virtue corrupted their children and
undermined their morals
left no writings
most of our knowledge of him and his
teachings comes from the dialogues of
his most famous pupil, Plato, and from
the memoirs of Xenophon
Socrates (469-399 BC)
Plato reconstructed his
discussions in a great set of
writings known as the Dialogues.
It is difficult to distinguish what is
Socrates and what is Plato in these
they are usually discussed together.
Plato, called him the wisest, and
justest, and best of all men whom I
have ever known (Phaedo).
Socrates (469-399 BC)
was irritated by the Sophists
their tendency to teach logic as a means of
achieving self-centered ends
their promotion of the idea that all things are
It was the truth that he loved,
desired, and believed in.
Philosophy, the love of wisdom,
was for Socrates itself a sacred
path, a holy quest -- not a game to
be taken lightly.
Socrates (469-399 BC)
He believed -- or at least said he did
in the dialogue Meno -- in the
reincarnation of an eternal soul
which contained all knowledge.
We unfortunately lose touch with
that knowledge at every birth, and
so we need to be reminded of what
we already know (rather than
learning something new).
Socrates (469-399 BC)
was on a self-defined quest for the
nature of true virtue and goodness
though he professed not to know
what they were.
What is justice? Beauty? Courage?
The good?
challenged the reigning values of
the day
aristrocrats love of power
glory or the merchants love of money

Socrates (469-399 BC)
Those who stayed with Socrates came to
share his own mental share of aporia or
enlightened ignorance.
They had to confess they were ignorant
about what justice (or whatever virtue
was under discussion) really was
but realized they were better off than
before because they had been
disabused of their conventional, but
wrong, beliefs
Socrates (469-399 BC)
His unorthodox religious views
(that there was only one god behind
the variety of Greek gods) gave the
leading citizens of Athens the
excuse they needed to sentence
him to death for corrupting the
morals of the youth of the city.
In 399, he was ordered to drink
hemlock, which he did in the
company of his students.
J acques-Louis David:
The Death of Socrates
Here the philosopher continues to speak even while
reaching for the cup, demonstrating his indifference to
death and his unyielding commitment to his ideals.
Most of his disciplines and slaves swirl around him in
grief, betraying the weakness of emotionalism.
His wife is seen only in the distance leaving the prison.
Only Plato, at the foot of the bed and Crito grasping his
master's leg, seem in control of themselves.

Education in Plato's
(Dillon, 2004)
Socrates (Plato's mouthpiece in the
dialogue) posits two differing
visions of education
the first is the education of the warrior
the second is the philosopher-kings' education
he also provides a more subtle
account of education through the
pedagogical method he uses with
Glaucon and Adeimantus.
The Republic provides the key to
locating and understanding
Socrates' true vision of education.
Socrates' pedagogical approach
corresponds closely with his vision
of the education of the philosopher-
Socrates' First Account of
Aim of Guardians' Education
to curb the guardians' natural
tendency to lord over the citizens.
to make them like "noble puppies"
that are fierce with enemies and
gentle with familiars.
Aim of Guardians' Education
Education in music for the soul
gymnastics for the body
The guardians' education is
primarily moral in nature
emphasizing the blind acceptance
of beliefs and behaviors rather than
the ability to think critically and
Aim of Guardians' Education
Those fit for a guardian's education
must by nature be "philosophic,
spirited, swift, and strong"
The guardians must be lovers of
learning like "noble puppies" who
determine what is familiar and
foreign by "knowledge and
Musical Education
Education in music (which includes
speeches) begins with the telling of
tales in the earliest years of
childhood because that is when
people are most pliable.
Tales must be strictly censored
because young children are
malleable and absorb all to which
they are exposed.
Musical Education
"A young thing can't judge what is
hidden sense and what is not; but
what he takes into his opinions at
that age has a tendency to become
hard to eradicate and
Unable to distinguish between good
and bad, children will only use bad
examples to justify their own bad

Musical Education
The content of tales is meant to instill
virtue and a certain theology in the
Instead of giving examples of
appropriate tales, Socrates attacks the
great poets, Hesiod and Homer, for
creating inappropriate tales.
He says that these poets' tales include
bad lies, which further unrealistic
images of the gods and heroes.
Musical Education
Gods must never be shown as unjust for
fear that children will think it acceptable
and honorable to do injustice.
Tales cannot depict fighting among the
gods and, further, children must actively
be told that citizens have never been
angry with one another.
By hearing such tales, youths will learn
the importance of unity and will be
disinclined to fight amongst themselves
when they are grown.
Musical Education
Children must be told that the gods are
not the cause of all things, only those
which are good and just.
Gods cannot be said to punish (unless it
is for the punished person's benefit),
change shape/form, or lie.
By making the gods incapable of
dishonesty and connected only with
what is good, Socrates distances them
from the world of men in which lying and
deception are ever-present.
Musical Education
Separating gods from men prevents
poetic accounts of the gods from being
used as a model for human behavior.
Children must look solely to human
guardians and the law for guidance.
Good tales must also foster courage,
moderation, and justice.
The hero Achilles must be absent from
all tales, because children cannot see
lamenting or gross displays of
immoderate emotion glorified for fear
they will adopt the practices as their own.
Musical Education
Additionally, tales cannot include
displays of laughter.
Like excessive displays of grief,
excessive displays of happiness
threaten the stoic attitude that is
desirable in guardians.
Suitable tales must glorify and
encourage moderation; they must
display obedience to superiors and
temperance in drinking, eating, sex, and
love of money and possessions.
Musical Education
Tales must also show bravery in
the face of danger
Most existing stories send
inappropriate messages and must
be outlawed.
They show unjust men as happy,
just men as unhappy, injustice as
profitable, and justice as being
someone else's good and one's
own loss.
Musical Education
Although Socrates includes three of the
four main virtues (courage, moderation,
and justice) among the important
lessons of appropriate tales, wisdom is
The omission of wisdom, along with the
implication that the guardians should
accept blindly whatever they are told
and to be wholly molded by the tales,
suggest again that guardians are not
intended to be wise and philosophical.
Narrative Style of Tales
Mimetic poetry is dangerous
because it encourages people to
imitate bad as well as good
behavior and supports the violation
of the one man-one job principle.
But if poets and guardians are to
imitate, they must copy those
virtues which they have been
taught since childhood (courage,
moderation, holiness, freedom)
Narrative Style of Tales
"Imitations, if they are practiced
continually from youth onwards,
become established as habits and
nature, in body and sounds and in
Therefore, the correct style of
narrative for both guardians and
poets is mostly non-imitative, but
allows for some imitation of good
Narrative Style of Tales
In his discussion of educative
music, Socrates allows only
moderate and austere melodies.
Melodies imitating the sounds and
accents of men courageous in the
face of danger and those suitable to
peaceful men are allowed, but
modes suiting laments or revelries
are forbidden.
Narrative Style of Tales
Only simple instruments such as
the lyre, cither, and pipe are
Most importantly, Socrates insists
that rhythm must follow speech,
not the other way around.
Every component of speech must
follow the disposition of a good

Narrative Style of Tales
"Good speech, good harmony,
good grace, and good rhythm
accompany good disposition".
Rhythm and harmony touch the
soul directly, so if children are
surrounded by tales of goodness
and never exposed to bad tales, like
"noble puppies" they will learn to
love what they know (goodness and
justice) and hate what they do not
know (injustice).
Narrative Style of Tales
Learning to love fine things and
hate ugly things as a child will help
them appreciate reasonable speech
and find pleasure in living
moderately when grown.
With the proper education, a life of
noble virtue, including "moderation,
courage, liberality, and
magnificence" but excluding sex
and excessive pleasure, will be

Gymnastic Education
A good soul produces a good body,
and that a healthy intellect ensures
a healthy body.
By eating and drinking moderately
and undertaking a simple physical
exercise plan from youth, the body
will be as fit as is needed.
Gymnastics is mainly responsible
for preventing illness and the need
for medicine in the city.
Gymnastic Education
Medicine is only welcome as a
means for curing easily-fixed
illnesses and should never be used
to keep those unable to work alive.
Like the well-educated guardian, a
good judge will be "a late learner of
what injustice is".
Although never exposed to
injustice personally, he will
recognize injustice by its
Gymnastic Education
This ability to distinguish between good
and bad without ever having been
directly exposed to the bad is the
intended result of the guardians'
Equilibrium between music and
gymnastics is important for the
production of moral guardians.
A solely gymnastic education causes
savagery and a purely musical education
causes softness, the two must be
Gymnastic Education
Education in music and gymnastics
will be compulsory for youths, and
their progress and adaptability will
be watched and tested throughout
their development.
Those who resolutely hold onto the
convictions instilled in them by
education will be chosen as
guardians and those who rebel
against the city's ideology will be
Socrates' Second Account of
Aim of Education
Socrates admits that the city should be
ruled by philosopher-kings
Socrates acknowledges that the nature
necessary in philosopher-kings is rare.
Quick, fiery natures suited to music are
usually too unstable for courage in the
face of war,
Trustworthy, brave natures that excel in
war are often slow intellectually.
Aim of Education
Potential philosopher-kings must
receive a new form of education
that will identify, test, and refine
their philosophical natures.
"It must also be given gymnastic in
many studies to see whether it will
be able to bear the greatest studies,
or whether it will turn out to be a
Aim of Education
Education serves to identify those
who are capable of philosophizing
and helps to strengthen the
characters of those who are
The philosopher-kings education
will teach true love of learning and
philosophy, as opposed to the false
love of learning of the "noble
Knowledge of "The Good"
The philosopher-kings' education
aims beyond the attainment of the
four virtues and includes the
greatest and most beneficial study:
that of "the good".
Knowledge of the good is the
ultimate virtue; without it the
attainment of other virtues is
Knowledge of "The Good"
It is insufficient to merely have
opinions about the good.
Instead, knowledge of "the good"
must be absolute
"When it comes to good things, no
one is satisfied with what is opined
to be so but each seeks the things
that are"
Knowledge of "The Good"
The importance of knowing what is
stands out in sharp contrast to the
earlier unfounded opinions of the
But despite his adamancy that
knowing is superior to opining,
Socrates himself claims not to
know the good.
Knowledge of "The Good"
Using the power of images,
Socrates evokes an analogy of the
obscure good and the familiar sun.
The sun, like the good, illuminates
the true "ideas" behind things.
As the sun allows our eyes to use
their existing capacity to see, the
good allows our existing intellect to
Knowledge of "The Good"
When it fixes itself on that which is
illumined by truth and that which is, it
intellects, knows, and appears to
possess intelligence.
But when it fixes itself on that which is
mixed with darkness, on coming into
being and passing away, it opines and is
dimmed, changing opinions up and
down and seems at such times not to
possess intelligence
Knowledge of "The Good"
The good is a higher reality and is
responsible for our capacity to
reason, as well as our very
"existence and being"

Philosopher-Kings' Education:
Good guardians must not be prisoners
nor can they be philosophers who
selfishly stay outside of the cave.
They must escape the cave, be educated
in the good through philosophy, and
then return to the cave to rule and
enlighten others.
Since the philosopher-kings are still to
be warriors, their education must still be
useful for warlike men.
Philosopher-Kings' Education:
The previous account of education,
however, is incomplete because
gymnastics and music only teach habits
by example.
Thus, Socrates revises the prior
education by introducing the study of
numbers/calculations, geometry, and
Not only is mathematics useful for
practical matters, but its abstractness
causes students to exercise their
intellect and ask questions about what
really is.
Philosopher-Kings' Education:
The study of complex, elusive concepts
pushes one to study what is permanent
and perfect.
Dialectics are also to be studied.
Reasoning through questioning/
answering & exchanging arguments
teaches how to give accounts of one's
self & what one knows
helps identify the good in oneself and
the good in the world.
Philosopher-Kings' Education:
Socrates insists that recipients of
an education in mathematics and
dialectics must have a suitable
They must be steady, courageous,
good looking, noble, tough, and
quick learners.
Above all, they must love hard work.
Philosopher-Kings' Education:
Socrates insists that education in
philosophy is something to be
loved and will result in the
satisfaction of eros.
Similar to the previous education,
education (in music, gymnastics,
mathematics, and preparatory
dialectics) begins in childhood.
Philosopher-Kings' Education:
But unlike the compulsory nature of
the earlier education, the
philosopher-kings' education must
be presented first as voluntary play.
"Don't use force in training the
children in the studies, but rather
play. In that way you can better
discern what each is naturally
directed towards".
Philosopher-Kings' Education:
At age twenty, gymnastic education will
cease and the best students will be
chosen to learn an overview of their
studies and how they interrelate with
each other and the good.
Those who excel in their studies, war,
and other duties will be chosen at age
thirty to be tested in dialectics to
determine "who is able to release
himself from the eyes and the rest of
sense and go to what which is in itself
and accompanies truth"
Philosopher-Kings' Education:
Remarkably, in the guardian's education,
no one, not even a judge, was permitted
exposure to the truth at this young an
Socrates, however, still recognizes the
danger of the full truth.
He holds that students must not be
allowed free reign with dialectics at too
young an age, because, instead of using
their newfound knowledge for the good
of the city, they might be tempted to
forsake the city's laws and conventions
in favor of more base pursuits.
Philosopher-Kings' Education:
Older, educated men, however, "will
discuss and consider the truth
rather than the one who plays and
contradicts for the sake of the
When they are thirty-five, those
well-trained in dialectics will be
required to go back into the cave to
hold offices, and testing will
Philosopher-Kings' Education:
Finally, at the age of fifty, those
who have excelled in everything
will perceive the good and will
alternate philosophizing and ruling
the city.
Socrates says, And, lifting up the
brilliant beams of their souls, they
must be compelled to look toward
that which provides light for
Philosopher-Kings' Education:
Once they see the good itself, they must
be compelled, each in his turn, to use it
as a pattern for ordering city, private
men, and themselves for the rest of their
For the most part, each one spends his
time in philosophy, but when his turn
comes, he drudges in politics and rules
for the city's sake, not as though he
were doing a thing that is fine, but one
that is necessary.
Philosopher-Kings' Education:
Although it is unappealing, philosophers
will serve the state because they are
indebted for their own enlightenment,
love knowledge, and accept that the
good of the city is more important than
their own happiness.
Socrates says it is better that the
philosopher-kings rule
unenthusiastically or else they will
become greedy for power which leads to

Socratic Education
Although Socrates presents two explicit
methods of education in the Republic,
his preferred pedagogical method is
difficult to identify because of the
dramatic context of the dialogue.
The two accounts of education must be
patched together and evaluated in
relation to each other and the dramatic
context of the dialogue in order to
discover Socrates' preferred method of
Socratic Education
Socrates' ludicrous examples, different
images, and persistent questioning are
clearly intended to help guide his pupils
upward through the levels of reality to
the highest, truest knowledge of what is.
Socrates' rambling teaching style makes
sense in light of his idea that students
should come to the truth on their own
rather than by force.
Socratic Education
Thus, he makes the guardians'
revised education implausibly
lengthy (it does not culminate until
the age of fifty at which point most
people are close to life's end) and
ends the discussion with the idea
that only children under the age of
ten will be allowed in the city with
the philosopher-kings.
Socratic Education
Socrates' style of questioning/
answering and refuting arguments
also gains meaning after his
discussion of the philosopher's
return to the cave and dialectics.
By subtly directing the discussion
through questions, Socrates allows
the ignorant prisoners to unchain
themselves and realize the truth.
Socratic Education
He leads them toward the light by means
of questions and dialectics until they are
able to make an account of their
knowledge for themselves.
By presenting them with numerous
different points of view, he teaches them
to look beyond convention and their
long-held convictions, and be open to
new, foreign ideas.
Never telling them what to think,
Socrates helps them realize their own,
natural potential.
In light of both accounts of education
and the dramatic progression of the
dialogue, it becomes apparent that the
whole Republic is an example of
Socratic pedagogy.
Using the discussion of justice, Socrates
formulates an active model of the
educational process and guides his
students through the levels of
intelligibility and knowledge.
Beginning by imagining the just city,
Socrates initiates the educational
progression from large images to
small ones.
Early in the dialogue, Socrates
suggests that the idea of justice
should be sought first in a large city,
for it is there that it will be most
visible, and then in individuals
After teaching imagination, Socrates
moves onto trust by introducing an
education that requires rulers to blindly
trust the educative tales they are told.
Next, he teaches about thought through
his discussion of the philosopher-kings'
education and dialectics.
Finally, Socrates arrives at knowledge of
what is.
The Educational Theory of
Socrates (Bob Burgess, 2005)
Due to the fact that Socrates (469
B.C.-399 B.C.) wrote nothing, or
next to nothing, regarding his
philosophical insights and methods,
we are left to glean the essence of
his works from the writings of
The Educational Theory of
Socrates 2005 Bob Burgess
With the body of work on Socrates
being replete with secondhand
sources, satisfying the Principle of
Textual Fidelity and Principle of
Interpretive Plausibility can be
I. Theory of Value: What knowledge
and skills are worthwhile learning?
What are the goals of education?
Socrates believed that there were different
kinds of knowledge, important and trivial.
He acknowledges that most of us know many
"trivial" things.
He states that the craftsman possesses
important knowledge, the practice of his craft,
but this is important only to himself, the
craftsman. But this is not the important
knowledge that Socrates is referring to.
The most important of all knowledge is "how
best to live." He posits that this is not easily
answered, and most people live in shameful
ignorance regarding matters of ethics and
morals. (Brickhouse & Smith 1, p.30)
I. Theory of Value: What knowledge
and skills are worthwhile learning?
What are the goals of education?
Through his method of powerfully
questioning his students, he seeks
to guide them to discover the
subject matter rather than simply
telling them what they need to know.
The goals of education are to know
what you can; and, even more
importantly, to know what you do
not know.
II. Theory of Knowledge: What is
knowledge? How is it different from
belief? What is a mistake? A lie?

Socrates makes the claim there are two
very different sorts of knowledge.
One is ordinary knowledge. This is of
very specific (and ordinary) information.
He claims that to have such knowledge
does not give the possessor of said
knowledge any expertise or wisdom
worth mentioning.
II. Theory of Knowledge: What is
knowledge? How is it different from
belief? What is a mistake? A lie?
The higher knowledge could
possibly be described as
definitional knowledge.
Socrates is extremely interested in
defining words and concepts.
He accepts the pursuit of
definitional knowledge as a priority
to philosophical discussion.
II. Theory of Knowledge: What is
knowledge? How is it different from
belief? What is a mistake? A lie?
Socrates devotes much thought to the concept
of belief, through the use of logic.
He spars with students early in his career and
later with his accusers, at his trial, on the
nature of his belief regarding the gods.
To define belief, according to Socrates, was to
use naturalistic explanations for phenomena
traditionally explained in terms of Divine
His belief in the wisdom and goodness of gods
is derived from human logic and his natural
II. Theory of Knowledge: What is
knowledge? How is it different from
belief? What is a mistake? A lie?
Any person who knows what goodness,
or truth is, will live that way.
The only lie or evil comes about when
one is ignorant of good.
Man will never 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 man.
III.Theory of Human Nature: What
is a human being? How does it differ
from other species? What are the
limits of human potential?
The being in human is an inner-self.
This inner-self is divine, cannot die,
and will dwell forever with the gods.
Only human beings can distinguish
virtue, which is knowledge, from
ignorance, which is the root of
moral evil. (Easton pp. 72 & 73)
III.Theory of Human Nature: What
is a human being? How does it differ
from other species? What are the
limits of human potential?
The human being is so constituted that
he "can" know the good.
And, knowing it, he can follow it, for no
one who truly knows the good would
deliberately choose to follow the evil.
This is a typically Greek notion, and is
attractive to all rationalists.
Only the human being has these
III.Theory of Human Nature: What
is a human being? How does it differ
from other species? What are the
limits of human potential?
From experience, it can be known that
intellectually the human potential is
The mind of man is constantly reaching out for
more and more knowledge, just as his will is
desirous of more and more love.
The search for knowledge varies with the
individual, but the race of man has always
carried on the quest in accordance with its
nature and for the practical and speculative
value that knowledge brings with it. (Noonan
IV. Theory of Learning: What is
learning? How are skills and
knowledge acquired?

Learning is the seeking of truth in
It occurs when after questioning
and interpreting the wisdom and
knowledge of others, one comes to
recognize their own ignorance.
IV. Theory of Learning: What is
learning? How are skills and
knowledge acquired?

Skills and knowledge are acquired
(1) interpreting the statements of
(2) testing or examining the
knowledge or wisdom of those
reputed (by themselves or others)
to be wise
IV. Theory of Learning: What is
learning? How are skills and
knowledge acquired?

(3) showing those who are not wise
their ignorance
(4 ) learning from those who are
(5) examining oneself
(6) exhorting others to philosophy
(7) examining the lives of others
(8) attaining moral knowledge.
V. Theory of Transmission: Who
is to teach? By what methods?
What will be the curriculum be?
Socrates does not believe that any one
person or any one school of thought is
authoritative or has the wisdom to teach
Socrates repeatedly disavows his own
knowledge and his own methods.
However, this appears to be a technique
for engaging others and empowering the
conversator to openly dialogue.
V. Theory of Transmission: Who
is to teach? By what methods?
What will be the curriculum be?

The Socratic method is one in
which a teacher, by asking leading
questions, guides students to
It was a dialectical method that
employs critical inquiry to
undermine the plausibility of
widely-held doctrine. (Brickhouse &
Smith 1, p.53)
V. Theory of Transmission: Who
is to teach? By what methods?
What will be the curriculum be?

Socrates devoted himself to a free-
wheeling discussion with the
aristocratic young citizens of
Athens, insistently questioning
their unwarranted confidence in the
truth of popular opinions, even
though he often offered them no
clear alternative teaching.
VI. Theory of Society: What is
society? What institutions are
involved in the education process?

To the class of Athenians that
Socrates was born into, society
existed to provide the best life for
the individual.
Societies are invariably formed for
a particular purpose.
Individuals are not self-sufficient,
no one working alone can acquire
all the genuine necessities of life.

VI. Theory of Society: What is
society? What institutions are
involved in the education process?
Separations of functions and
specialization of labor are key.
Society is composed of distinct
classes (clothiers, farmers, builders,
In addition, there are those that
manage society and settle disputes.
VI. Theory of Society: What is
society? What institutions are
involved in the education process?

Education took place in magnificent
buildings such as the Parthenon and
Hephaisteion, which adorn the Acropolis
and the Agora, the large open area at the
front of the Acropolis that consisted of
the Athenian market place and public
However, education took place wherever
and whenever, and the concepts of
schooling, colleges, and institutions had
not yet arrived.
VII. Theory of Opportunity: Who is to be
educated? Who is to be schooled?
Socrates was the antithesis of
elitist mentality.
Socrates rejected "the pursuit of
knowledge" for its own sake as a
delusion and a snare, inasmuch as
knowledge, properly so-called is
unattainable, and a snare, insofar
as it draws us away from the study
of conduct
VII. Theory of Opportunity: Who is to be
educated? Who is to be schooled?
In other words, the pursuit of art,
cosmology, or any specific discipline
blurred the quest for truth.
The practical knowledge that experts
had in their respective fields was trivial
and unimportant to anyone but they
He wanted to educate, challenge,
question and debate men of ignorance
mistaking themselves as knowledgeable,
and by doing so, to promote their
intellectual and moral improvement.
VII. Theory of Opportunity: Who is to be
educated? Who is to be schooled?
Socrates' open and non-dogmatic style, and his
emphasis on what other persons thought rather
than on his own ideas led to several individual
disciplines going their separate ways.
The result was several prominent schools, with
the most influential being the Platonic
Even though Socrates rejected the "pursuit of
knowledge" per se, there are many
contradictions evident to indicate that he did
view himself as an educator whose goal was to
see others learn.
VIII. Theory of Consensus: Why do people
disagree? How is consensus achieved? Whose
opinion takes precedence?
Socrates' main focus throughout his
public teaching life is the acquiring by
the individual of self-knowledge.
He believes that goodness and truth,
positive essences and pure ethical and
moral instincts are placed there divinely
in the soul.
However, they are not brought to
consciousness unless they are
awakened or learned.
VIII. Theory of Consensus: Why do people
disagree? How is consensus achieved? Whose
opinion takes precedence?
Therefore, consensus on the
important things in life is just below
the surface waiting to be
It is the destiny of mankind to seek
out virtue such as courage and self-
control, or propriety over the
desires of ambitions or emotions
that cloud the quest for truth.
VIII. Theory of Consensus: Why do people
disagree? How is consensus achieved? Whose
opinion takes precedence?
The concept of ignorance is what
stands in the way of consensus,
and that once one realizes that he
does not know, a change in any
disagreement can occur.
If we can recognize the value of
virtue, we then can apply it and
improve the quality of our lives.
VIII. Theory of Consensus: Why do people
disagree? How is consensus achieved? Whose
opinion takes precedence?
It will take precedence over
personal power and the
gratification of desire and pleasure.
The life-long pursuit of self-
improvement, the desire for
wisdom is only attainable when one
can see their own faults and
weaknesses and negative
Burgess, B. (2005).The Educational Theory of Socrates.
Retrieved from
Dillon, A. (2006) Education in Platos Republic.
presented at the Santa Clara University Student Ethics
Research Conference May 26, 2004. retrieved from
Earnshaw, L.S. (1987). The Shaping of Modern
Psychology: An Historical Introduction. London:
Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Leahey, T.H. (2000). A History of Psychology: Main
Current in Psychological Thought (5
edition). New
J ersey: Prentice Hall New J ersey.