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Word of the Day : November 4, 2012

maieutic

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adjective may-YOO-tik

Definition

: relating to or resembling the Socratic method of eliciting new ideas from another

Examples

"I am grateful to him for his maieutic inquiry about my own views, which had not crystallized." - From an article by William F. Buckley, Jr., in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 27, 1973

"The international peacebuilding practitioner can adopt elements of a maieutic or Socratic approach to pedagogy, in which dialogue is at the core of a mutual learning process and there is no assumption that the person speaking is necessarily wiser than those who are being engaged." - From an article by Nathan C. Funk in International Journal, Spring 2012



Did You Know?

"Maieutic" comes from "maieutikos," the Greek word for "of midwifery." In one of Plato's "Dialogues," Socrates applies "maieutikos" to his method of bringing forth new ideas by reasoning and dialogue; he thought the technique analogous to those a midwife uses in delivering a baby (Socrates’ mother was a midwife). A teacher who uses maieutic methods can be thought of as an intellectual midwife who assists students in bringing forth ideas and conceptions previously latent in their minds.

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