© 2016

Teaching Psychology and the Socratic Method

Real Knowledge in a Virtual Age


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. James J. Dillon
    Pages 1-12
  3. James J. Dillon
    Pages 13-17
  4. James J. Dillon
    Pages 19-26
  5. James J. Dillon
    Pages 27-33
  6. James J. Dillon
    Pages 35-43
  7. James J. Dillon
    Pages 45-51
  8. James J. Dillon
    Pages 53-63
  9. James J. Dillon
    Pages 75-80
  10. James J. Dillon
    Pages 105-115
  11. James J. Dillon
    Pages 129-137
  12. James J. Dillon
    Pages 147-158
  13. James J. Dillon
    Pages 159-167
  14. James J. Dillon
    Pages 181-190

About this book


This book presents a lively and accessible way to use the ancient figure of Socrates to teach modern psychology that avoids the didactic lecture and sterile textbook.  In the online age, is a living teacher even needed?  What can college students learn face-to-face from a teacher they cannot learn anywhere else?  The answer is what most teachers already seek to do: help students think critically, clearly define concepts, logically reason from premises to conclusions, engage in thoughtful and persuasive communication, and actively engage the franchise of democratic citizenship.  But achieving these outcomes requires an intimate, interpersonal learning community.  This book presents a plan for using the ancient figure of Socrates and his Method to realize humane learning outcomes in the context of psychology.   


Socratic Method classics in education teaching psychology alternative teaching learning communities philosophy and psychology online learning dialectic role-play

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of West GeorgiaCarrolltonUSA

About the authors

James J. Dillon is a psychologist and Professor at the University of West Georgia, USA.  He specializes in the study of learning and development.  He has coordinated many special learning communities for college students.  In addition to his research and university teaching, Dr. Dillon is a certified public elementary school teacher.

Bibliographic information


“James J. Dillon argues that we need to focus more on helping students learn how to think and less on content that they are likely to forget anyway. … Dillon’s purpose is to present a unique plan for integrating the Socratic method into a psychology course. … I recommend that psychology faculty read Teaching Psychology and the Socratic Method. It is likely to stimulate some thought about how best to stimulate thought in our students.” (David S. Kreiner, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 62 (14), April, 2017)