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Thursday, January 14, 2021

"Think Like Socrates" by Shanna Peeples


Kids always have questions—often to the dismay of parents and teachers.  However, utilizing their questions is a way for kids to become leaders in their learning. Shanna Peeples, 2015 National Teacher of the Year, advocates the Socratic approach to learning in her book, Think Like Socrates. The author highlights how engaging students through their questions enhances learning.

Students are more confident and focused; better discipline is a byproduct.  Their questions are validated; they learn about topics that matter to them.  Teachers get to better know their students as they listen and respond, while adapting those questions to the assigned standards/curriculum. This approach can also help parents in the discovery process of learning while homeschooling or engaging in family activities.

            While this is not the “answer” for good teaching, it is another productive tool in the teacher’s toolkit, as highlighted in the design of the book.  The introduction outlines the book and allows the reader to quickly access the information sought.  Pages 8 & 9 provide a brief description of what is the focus of each chapter—Chapters 1-6 to develop the theoretical foundation, Chapters 7-12 to apply in specific disciplines, Chapter 13 to apply the approach to the real world, and Chapter 14 to examine the potential for professional development.  It concludes with more than 40 pages of detailed resources and tools for educators to use.  All chapters include examples from actual classrooms.

The 2020 DKG Educators Book Award committee awarded this book honorable mention.

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