NPR's 50 Great Teachers

A statue of Socrates in front of Athens' Academy.

NPR's Eric Westervelt begins a series on 50 great teachers with a post on Socrates and his influence on the Western world.

We're starting this celebration of teaching with Socrates, the superstar teacher of the ancient world. He was sentenced to death more than 2,400 years ago for "impiety" and "corrupting" the minds of the youth of Athens.

But Socrates' ideas helped form the foundation of Western philosophy and the scientific method of inquiry. And his question-and-dialogue-based teaching style lives on in many classrooms as the Socratic method.

I went to Oakland Technical High School in California to see it in action.


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