Friday, October 08, 2004

Socratic Method

Socratic methods sucks

Socratic method guides a student's deductive thought processes through deductions from an informal language dictionary, hoping to arrive through successively narrower although still uncountable ideas to a predefined idea. And this through an optimally, efficient path of questions, negative reinforcement, free clues often in the form of more questions, and rarely positive reinforcement.
Each successive question forces the student to think about a broad list of branching ideas most of which are unrelated to the goal except by some overlap with other instances of the socratic method for different pieces of "end knowledge" which is itself overlapped with the informal dictionary.
Adding to the inconsistency of the breadth of the ideas covered in the informal language dictionary with this approach, socrates has no one to guide his socratic method than other socrates. This leads to a circular reasoning, parasitic, life form, the socratic method which is more concerened with its own survival than the actual dissemination of knowledge.
The socratic method is more similar to a series of essay questions designed to test (through reward and relative punishment) the knowledge of the student.
It is quite different than a multiple choice test which can much more efficiently, in a smaller number of questions then even the length of the dictionary, completely test the students knowledge and give accurate feedback on the students strengths and weeknesses.

The socratic method tries to cast a net leading from one idea to another in the knowledge base connected by possible deductions. This may seem at first to be an efficient and fault eliminating way to cover the whole set of facts covered by the net, but in fact: As one climbs the net, parallel strands, and strands that lead to loops, are burned as they are passed. So it is much less a net, then a partial dimensional maze with all but one directional, non looping path, leading to dead ends, when in reality, there are few dead ends and mostly interconnected, through admittedly sloppy weak links in that informal language, ideas.

Multiple choice questions and open book tests on the other hand gives the student two ideas connected by a large....