20 Powerful Quotes On The Socratic Method Of Teaching

The Socratic method is a unique teaching technique proposed by the wise Greek philosopher Socrates. Socrates believes in students taking control of their own ideas and conclusions, considering he himself doesn’t know everything.

This entails teachers asking their students questions until they find the correct answer. Instead of relying on someone else for all their information, Socrates encouraged his students to discover their insights and find solutions.

The method involves students critically self-evaluating the concept or subject using open-ended questions. Though improving critical thinking

This post contains quotes about Socratic methods shared by Socrates’ philosophy and modern understandings of this method by its users.

Quotes that highlight the importance of the Socratic method

Critical thinking might have its own real-life uses and examples; however, the Socratic method involves questioning to foster critical thinking. To better understand the idea and emphasis of the Socratic method, read the quotes below from Socrates and others.

1. “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think” ― Socrates.

2. “To know is to know you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.” – Socrates.

3. “Let us examine the question together, my friend, and if you can contradict anything I say, do so, and I will be persuaded” – Socrates.

4. “Answer all the questions. Question all the answers.” ― Laurie Gray

5. “Certain things need to be done again and again in life, but those things can be learned only in context, not as an abstraction. Different contexts must be provided to motivate students and to provide real-world skills that will be remembered, not because they were studied and tested but because they were practiced again and again.”― Roger Schank

6. “Sometimes we find ourselves searching for answers, When really what we need is discernment. To ask the right questions.” ― Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.

7. “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” – Socrates.

8. “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel” – Socrates.

9. “Education is not the learning of facts, and it is the training of the mind to think.” – Albert Einstein.

10. “To find the truth, try to follow the Socratic method. Just don’t forget to follow your intuition and imagination.” — Debasish Mridha.

11. “Socrates’ method of building an argument through gentle queries, he “dropped my abrupt contradiction” style of argument and “put on the humbler enquirer” of the Socratic method. By asking what seemed to be innocent questions, Franklin would draw people into making concessions that would gradually prove whatever point he was trying to assert.” — Walter Isaacson.

12. “I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn” – Albert Einstein.

13. “I know I am intelligent because I know I know nothing” – Socrates

14. “Just ask questions, soon they reveal their true thoughts” – Unknown

15. “I enjoy teaching with a Socratic method. It is a great way to test where the edge of knowledge is and encourages growth in learner” – Rachel Peaterson

16. “A method of teaching in which, instead of giving the answers, the teacher guides the student to it by asking a series of questions.” – unknown

17.  “I know you won’t believe me, but the highest form of human excellence is to question oneself and others.” – Socrates

18. “Think of a Socratic method of questioning as a series of lily pads to get your learner to the other end of the pond. Be willing to undershoot to the size of the leaps or distance between the lily pads” –Melina Manolas.

19.  “Socratic method is a process of asking and questioning to stimulate critical thinking and expose yet underlying assumptions and logic. It is both co -operative and argumentative.” – Sahil Bloom.

20.  “By using Socratic methods, students can start thinking critically and using logic and reasoning to create their argument, while also finding and patching up holes in their positions.”- Unknown.

Socratic method: Stimulating critical thinking in children

Research[1] has proven how the Socratic method can encourage children’s critical thinking. By incorporating the Socratic method into classroom settings, teachers can teach students to notice the fundamental structure of questions and start the necessary thought process before engaging in the practice. A cooperative discussion between teacher and students is a component of the Socratic teaching method in the classroom.

By providing challenging questions, the teacher takes the initiative. By posing their own questions, students play a proactive role. The conversation swings back and forth.

This aids in the development of their assumptions and argumentative ideas in opposition to existing beliefs. Though they begin with that fact, teachers may only know some things. The dialogue is open-ended and has no predetermined aim or end.

The open-ended questions involved in the Socratic method are based on six factors: clarifying thinking and understanding, challenging assumptions, introspecting evidence, considering alternatives or consequences and implications, and self-questioning of your own question are all types of questions asked. This helps children evaluate topics on their own and find answers to them.

The Socratic conversation also works as a specific pedagogical technique that is applied in educational settings to improve students’ dialogic and cognitive skills, especially among students who have learning difficulties like dyslexia or dyscalculia. Furthermore, there are several apps to improve learning disabilities too.


“Understanding one’s ignorance,” as Socrates put it, “may be the key to controlling thought, persevering in the quest for knowledge, and improving practice.” The goal of the Socratic method is self-learning and self-evaluation. Though the technique is not very comforting to students, the teacher helps guide them to the correct answers. This method promotes critical thinking skills in children.

In the end, Socratic methods allow one to immerse oneself in learning concepts without just memorizing them. The quotes have encouraged you to understand and use the Socratic method to promote self-evaluation of any subject in life!


[1] R. Oyler, D., & Pharm, D. (n.d.). The Fact of Ignorance Revisiting the Socratic Method as a Tool for Teaching Critical Thinking.

Leave a Comment