The Socratic Method

Parents often ask: What’s your approach to tutoring algebra or any math subject? Having volunteered and worked as a tutor for several organizations, I use a combination of training and experience to guide my approach.

Generally, I use the Socratic Method. Sometimes student simply want answers to questions but this usually isn’t helpful in fostering critical thinking and understanding. If they rely on my help for everything I can’t prepare them for independent learning.

I ask my students questions to help them bridge their understanding with new concepts they are studying. This encourages them to trust in their critical thinking skills and existing knowledge to grow academically. I also like to continue with the concept by previewing concepts that may come up soon in upcoming units. I find that students quickly become more comfortable in trusting their instincts and critical thinking skills.

Socrates: By Photograph by Greg O'Beirne. Cropped by User:Tomisti (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Socrates: By Photograph by Greg O’Beirne. Cropped by User:Tomisti (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons