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2013

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Education

Law and Society

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When Socrates Meets Confucius: Teaching Creative And Critical Thinking Across Cultures Through Multilevel Socratic Method, Erin Ryan Dec 2012

When Socrates Meets Confucius: Teaching Creative And Critical Thinking Across Cultures Through Multilevel Socratic Method, Erin Ryan

Erin Ryan

This article presents a case study of adapting the Socratic Method, popularized in American law schools, to teach critical thinking skills underemphasized in Chinese universities and group competency skills underemphasized at U.S. institutions. As we propose it here, Multilevel Socratic teaching integrates various levels of individual, small group, and full class critical inquiry, offering distinct pedagogical benefits in Eastern and Western cultural contexts where they separately fall short. After exploring foundational cultural differences underlying the two educational approaches, the article reviews the goals, methods, successes, and challenges encountered in the development of an adapted “Multilevel Socratic” method, concluding with ...