Socrates and term papers

Jeremy Tate:

The es­say hasn’t been ban­ished from clas­si­cally minded in­sti­tu­tions. Rather, the more per­son­al­ized, dis­cus­sion-cen­tric model of in­struc­tion by its na­ture ren­ders es­says a sec­ondary tool. Stu­dents that skip their home­work won’t be able to hide for long when asked to of­fer an opin­ion on last night’s read­ing.

For cen­turies, the clas­si­cal cur­ricu­lum was the norm, rather than the ex­cep­tion. In the mod­ern era, how­ever, the march to­ward fac­tory-style ed­u­ca­tion re­placed the old ways with more spe­cial­ized stud­ies de­liv­ered in lec­ture form. Per­haps it’s time to re­think this change. The clas­si­cal method sur­vived as long as it did be­cause it fos­tered crit­i­cal-think­ing skills that can then be ap­plied to any cat­e­gory of spe­cial­ized study.