Socrates is called The Father of Western Philosophy, and is famous for using a method of instruction that required challenging his students with questions that made them think more and delve deep into the reasons for their ideas. While Socrates made his students defend their ideas he also made them part of the learning process. While Socrates’ focus was on philosophy and political philosophy, his approach can be used in other subjects. History is not just a subject to memorize and move on. It is a subject that requires interaction between the student, the teacher, and the past. Because there are many ways to interpret historical events, the study of history also calls for moral judgement, decision-making, and principled leadership by the teacher. The Socratic discussion in history is a method that calls for spirited and honest debate over open-ended questions, evidence, and freedom of speech. Once a student experiences this kind of learning, he will never want to go back to looking at history as just something to memorize.
This Socratic discussion in history is essential for a free society and a free people. Only those who know how to analyze people and events will be able to keep a society free.