Feminist Pedagogy and the Socratic Method: Partners in the Classroom or a Disaster Waiting to Happen?

  •  Rita Shah    
  •  Kyle Kopko    


This article presents a case study analyzing the relationship between the Socratic method and feminist pedagogy in a team-taught undergraduate classroom in the United States. Specifically, we analyze the feedback provided by our students to determine the ways in which the Socratic method conflicted with, but also complemented, feminist pedagogy. Data were collected through two online surveys and an in-class open-ended response. The results suggest that the Socratic method is compatible with feminist pedagogy as it improved critical thinking and consideration of diverse points of view. On the other hand, the results suggest that students felt discomfort when analyzing and discussing their own views, as opposed to the views of others. This discomfort potentially undermines the benefits of a feminist pedagogical approach to classroom discussion. We suggest several ways to improve compatibility of these techniques in undergraduate courses and suggest avenues for future research to better understand the relationship between these pedagogical approaches.

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