An analysis of Plato’s Pedagogy as displayed in the Republic
Pedagogy is defined as a style of teaching, and in Plato’s pedagogy, there is much to be examined. Cooper states the following of Plato’s pedagogy, “Though Plato never wrote a dialogue that explicitly asks, ‘What is education?’ few argue that he is uninterested in the subject; after all, Plato, like Socrates, was a teacher. In his magnum opus, the Republic, Plato deals with education repeatedly. The education of the guardian class and the allegory of the cave present two landmark pedagogical passages.” In the Republic, Socrates and Plato, for the sake of this essay interchangeable, both teach on education in a way that enlightens the listeners and causes them to think. Plato is an advocate of students questioning what they’re taught. He also encourages students to elaborate on what they learn with more thought and experience. Another aspect of his pedagogy is for man to understand that he does not know everything, to accept the things he does not know humbly. This is true success in the eyes of Plato. So, overall, the following are ideas of what Plato would consider to be a correct style of teaching: first, that the teaching causes students to question what they learn, second that the students have a yearning to further investigate what they’re taught, and last, that students are humble.
Initially, Socrates highly valued students who put their brains to work in learning, and who did not accept everything they were taught as fact. One of Socrates’ favorite students was Plato. Cross agrees, saying, “Plato (437-347) was Socrates’ prized student.” The thing Plato did was magnificent, he was always questioning Socrates in his teaching because he k...
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...hen speaking of Plato’s Republic, “Since the mid-nineteenth century, the Republic has been Plato’s most famous and widely read dialogue. As in most other Platonic dialogues the main character is Socrates.” How is it that one of the most read philosophical texts is not even regarded in the modern era? This idea, however, is similar to the Bible, which is reportedly a best seller and yet is not highly regarded as all to be the truth it claims to be: the word of God. Is it simply because people are ignorant? Or is it because people are accepting ideas thrown at them from the very professors teaching Plato? These questions have yet to be answered, and, with further study (as suggested by Socrates) could only produce more questions. So, consider the ideas of questioning, investigation, and humility all important aspects of Plato’s pedagogy as identified in the Republic.
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