Since Socrates stated that teachers must reach learners where they are, how can educators reach their students?

2 Answers | Add Yours

thanatassa's profile pic

thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Although this statement is a paraphrase, it could be applied to Socrates' own practice of wandering around the agora and talking with everyone rather than only teaching a small group of paying students. He believed that all teaching should be fre3ely accessible to all people. In part, the universal public education system in most developed countries has realized that ideal for primary and secondary education, but state support for tertiary education is far from universal. While many would argue that free education can be made universally available over the internet, the problem is that internet courses and other resources do not give the challenging individualized education of Socrates, but something far closer to the lectures of the sophists.

readerofbooks's profile pic

readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This is a good question. First, let me give you some background information. It is difficult to know much about the historical Socrates, because he did not write anything. What we know of him is mainly through Plato. 

What we do know is that he was executed for corrupting the youth in 399 B.C. From this point alone, we know that he had a special connection with the youth of Athens. 

In light of this, we can make two point about how we can become more relevant teachers to the youth. 

First, Socrates teaches us to question everything. This is a good starting point, because children love to question everything, especially authority. So, it might be a good idea to create an atmosphere of asking question. Learning takes place when questions drive students. 

Second, Socrates really got to know people. So, he was more than a "teacher;" he was also a friend. This can give us a clue to good teaching as well. We should develop a rapport with our students that goes beyond the classroom. 


We’ve answered 317,598 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question