i guess what i want to know is, why do schools continue to place such a strong emphasis on socratic method? why don't schools get more creative and pressure their professors to give their students periodic tests throughout the semester, or write papers for grades during 1L classes?That is the way it has always been and always will be. Remember, this method teaches one to think.
You answered your own question as far as the "lowered-tier" comment.
I am old and "suredly" was what I grew up with.
I'm going to have to disagree. Granted I'm only a 1L, but I've already noticed a HUGE difference between last semester and this one. Last semester we were called on radomly- were expected to know all of the facts, the legal rule, all of the legal reasoning, the holding, etc, on the spot. It put so much pressure on us that we almost couldn't learn.
This semester, however, most professors have switched over to calling on people in alphabetical order. Obviously, it's more relaxed. However, those who are truly concerned with learning are able to read cases in order to learn, rather than read cases in order to get called on. Now our conversations in regards to the law, in my experience anyways, are much more lively and engaging before and after class. We're actually dedicated to what we learn, rather than being nervous about being put on the spot.
The socratic method is the way it's been, not always, but for a long while. And yes, being put on the spot teaches one to think, in some regards. But being put in a positive and cooperative environment also teaches one to think; often in a more efficient manner. In fact, I'd be willing to say that most people in my school would say that the Socratic method is more of a hinderance to learning than other alternative methods. What that's worth, I honestly don't know.
Is there no possible compromise or balance among such competing views? Must it always be purely socratic?