The Upaniṣadic Method: The Role of Conversation in Teaching
Keywords:Conversation, Indian Psychology, Teaching, Upaniṣadic method, Upaniṣads, Yoga
AbstractWhile Socrates is lauded as one of the best teachers, capable of drawing out the answer from the student using just conversations and questioning, it is often forgotten that this conversational method of teaching is also characteristic of the Upaniṣadic texts from Ancient India. This paper aims to present the importance of the role of conversation in teaching, highlighting an Indian perspective. There is a brief description of the Upaniṣadic setting and method, before the modern views on teaching are presented. These include the constructivist theories of Piaget, the conversational theories of Pask and others using these methods, as well as the Blended Socratic Methods of Teaching. The paper also discusses the role of active learning on the student’s part and highlights the importance of peer interactions as well. The comparative method adopted sheds light on an age-old pedagogy along with scientific proof of what works and what doesn’t in the modern setting, referring to research work as recent as 2022.
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