The Socratic method : adult education theories

Frick, Liezel ; Albertyn, Ruth ; Rutgers, Linda (2010)

CITATION: Frick, L., Albertyn, R. & Rutgers, L. 2010. The Socratic method : adult education theories. Acta Academica, 1:75-102.

The original publication is available at


Postgraduate students need to explore their research question(s) from different angles, take ownership of the research process, and develop their own scholarly voice. Supervisors are often ill-equipped to guide students in a strategic and learner-centred manner. The Socratic method draws on strategies to elicit learning through uncertainty in the question-and-answer technique employed. Based on a qualitative study, various adult education theories are used to formulate a rationale for the application of the Socratic method as a tool to facilitate learning in the supervisor-student relationship. Theoretical perspectives which emerged as themes through this study include experiential learning, ontological coaching and empowerment. This article provides a conceptual framework for postgraduate supervisors which could act as a guide to enhance their supervisory practice and facilitate independent student learning.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL:
This item appears in the following collections: