How does the Clouds’ teaching method compare to the teaching method defended by the “Better Logos”?
The Clouds represent the `new education`offered by both the historical Socrates and the sophists and the better logos (or superior argument) represents traditional Athenian education. One major difference is subject matter. The traditional education emphasized gymnastics as preparation for military service. Gentlemen were also expected to learn how to play a musical instrument, have mastered basic literacy and numeracy and know Homer and traditional poets. The teaching methods tended towards rote memorization. The new tertiary education involved abstract knowledge. The philosophers emphasized theoretical knowledge of subjects like physics, epistemplogy, and ethics, and the sophists rhetoric, and the ability to speak well in assemblies and law courts. The methods of the new education involved more dialogue and question and answer. The outcomes, as portrayed in Clouds were quite different, with procducts of the old education serving in the military and running their country estates, and products of the new education earning their livings by cheating and blackmail in the ever-expanding law courts.