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Author Topic: I hate the Socratic Method  (Read 9175 times)

Cutehonesty

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I hate the Socratic Method
« on: September 23, 2005, 05:52:57 PM »
I don't understand why they grill you so much and force you to think about getting called on rather than focusing on the lecture.  I don't like it.  I wish they would teach the normal way.  I don't learn from my own classmates.  I'd rather have the teacher answer the questions.  I've not learned a thing in class.  I'm learning from reading my books.

chaser

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Re: I hate the Socratic Method
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2005, 08:16:09 PM »
Your reaction is very typical and there is a lot to be said for ditching the Socratic Method.

I don't think it will leave us very soon, since professors have a lot vested in this, "all-knowing, Kung Fu Zen Master"-schtick.

Plus, if the PROFESSOR doesn't know the answer, it is really convenient to say, for instance, "Well, what do YOU think would constitute anticipatory repudiation in this case?"
"Civilization is the process of reducing the infinite to the finite."  Oliver Wendell Holmes

Cutehonesty

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Re: I hate the Socratic Method
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2005, 03:40:53 PM »
No, you're not understanding.  I REALLY HATE the socratic method.

chaser

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Re: I hate the Socratic Method
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2005, 05:50:38 PM »
If it's any consolation, Socrates was forced to drink hemlock...

His wife was a b!tch; and Socrates was a mooch who never worked a single day in his life.

His final conclusion was that he knew nothing, but at least he KNEW that he knew nothing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates
"Civilization is the process of reducing the infinite to the finite."  Oliver Wendell Holmes

cuteprincess

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Re: I hate the Socratic Method
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2005, 06:04:20 PM »
It's just horrible.  How do you even learn from it?

jacy85

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Re: I hate the Socratic Method
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2005, 06:46:29 PM »
You don't learn the material from the socratic method.

I'm convinced that the sole purpose of it is to teach you how to organize and speak your thoughts.  One of my profs loves to pick on people that have a tendency to speak before they think.  If he calls on someone, and their answers are well thought out, they are familiar with the important facts of the case, and are able to answer questions in a way that shows they have at least a basic understanding of the concepts presented in the case, quickly moves on to someone else.  He moves on until he can ream someone for 20 minutes, pointing out poor logic, befuddled use of language, and other problems. It can be harsh, but you can learn a lot from it. Unfortunately, most people get mad about it, or refuse to learn anything from it.

It's useful to learn how to shape your analysis and phrase your answers.  Yes, we'll get more formal training on this when we have to present oral arguments.  But every bit counts, and I do think that with the right professor it can be incredibly useful.

Todd

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Re: I hate the Socratic Method
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2005, 09:59:25 PM »
Done correctly it teaches you to think on your feet, done poorly, well I think you've experienced that.

Remember you're supposed to know the material cold (like I've ever done that..), but think of it this way if you go to court and the judge asks you where & when a case you cited was decided you'd better not have to look it up.

jimmyjohn

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Re: I hate the Socratic Method
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2005, 12:07:23 AM »
Socratic is ridiculous for the most part.  My property teacher is horrible at it and likes to ask about things such as irrelevant precedents cited in the case and the procedural posture.  Who gives a flying @#!*?  I'd rather her at least lecture about something important than waste our time while we wait for the people she calls on to flip through the book and give her the diamond in the rough that she's looking for.

J D

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Re: I hate the Socratic Method
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2005, 12:22:38 AM »
Don't knock procedural posture.  Often it makes a big difference in how the judge or the court is looking at the case.  Since a lot of the cases we are reading consist of appeals from summary judgments or demurrers, the way the court looks at the case is inherently one-sided (they have to view the evidence in the light most favorable to the plaintiff), so it's important to remember that and read the court's description of the facts critically.  Remember, the facts are important because each case stands on its own set of facts ("good facts make for good law, bad facts make for bad law," or so the saying goes).  Procedural posture is important because it usually plays a big role in determining how the facts are viewed.
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

jimmyjohn

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Re: I hate the Socratic Method
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2005, 12:28:18 AM »
Don't knock procedural posture.  Often it makes a big difference in how the judge or the court is looking at the case.  Since a lot of the cases we are reading consist of appeals from summary judgments or demurrers, the way the court looks at the case is inherently one-sided (they have to view the evidence in the light most favorable to the plaintiff), so it's important to remember that and read the court's description of the facts critically.  Remember, the facts are important because each case stands on its own set of facts ("good facts make for good law, bad facts make for bad law," or so the saying goes).  Procedural posture is important because it usually plays a big role in determining how the facts are viewed.

I understand that it affects the presentation of the facts.  But she doesn't even mention that when she asks about the procedural posture.  It's like "guess what word I'm thinking of" and then we'll move on.  Besides, it's largely irrelevant for the exam and also not as relevant for developing legal skills unless you're planning on being a judge.