Where good old-fashioned debate still rules school


The paideia teaching model still survives today in Cincinnati, Chicago and Chattanooga school districts, as implicated in today’s article from ASCD’s Smart Brief report. The paideia model uses the Socratic method by engaging students in long discussions and classical debate to build critical thinking skills, debating/verbal skills and the ability to synthesize information. Teachers coach students through a series of difficult questions to help guide them to the best possible answers or perhaps to a new revelation. Asking powerful questions is the core of academic coaching, and LifeBound offers coaching classes throughout the year at its home offices in Denver, Colorado. These seminars teach educators and administrators how to ask powerful questions of themselves and their students, which tap internal motivation and boost emotional intelligence.

No Child Left Behind and content-based teaching formulated for standardized testing has replaced paideia in most public schools throughout the U.S., but with today’s emphasis on 21st century skills that promote critical thinking, teamwork and creativity, the Socratic method may make its way back into mainstream education. Chad Flaig, a teacher at Shroder Paideia High School in Cincinnati, says, “That’s one of the things as a teacher in seminar [debate], you are not the information provider. You are just kind of the guide, and sometimes they’ll go down a different path. You just kind of go with it, and the big thing is to make them think and get them out of their comfort zone.”

In order to compete for jobs in this country and around the world, the next generation of students will be forced to stretch themselves and venture into the global marketplace where employers value analytical, creative and practical intelligence. LifeBound’s book, Critical and Creative Thinking for Teenagers, is designed to help students develop the requisite skills for college and career success. To request a review copy of this book, or to find out more about our academic coaching classes, contact the LifeBound office by calling toll free 1.877.737.8510 or sending an email to contact@lifebound.com. We look forward to hearing from you.


Cincinnati.Com » Education
January 2, 2010
Where good old-fashioned debate still rules school
By Ben Fischer

Sports fan and Shroder Paideia High School senior Brandon Ross thought departed Cincinnati Bearcats football coach Brian Kelly was a disloyal turncoat before a Dec. 16 class with teacher Chad Flaig.

Then, with the desks arranged in a circle, Flaig asked tough questions: What does loyalty require? Can you be loyal to only one group at a time? What about loyalty to yourself? Is it possible that loyalty to his players led Kelly to downplay the Notre Dame job until after the crucial Pittsburgh game, avoiding distractions? Or does being loyal require absolute honesty at all times?

The teens didn’t have all the answers.

But they debated Kelly’s departure for the entire class, moderating their opinions when Flaig made a good point and pushing back when they disagreed.

Afterward, Ross wasn’t so sure.

To view this entire article visit www.news.cincinnati.com

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