Hunter Safety Blog

Was Socrates a Hunter Education Instructor?

January 20, 2011

I taught cognitive skills in a maximum-security environment and I learned that using the Socratic Method of self-evaluation worked with my students. It led to a high degree of problem solving and critical thinking. The Greek Philosopher Socrates used this method to spark debate and correct contradictions in the way individuals perceived the world around them. What a genius! So, what does Socrates have to do with you as a hunter education instructor? As I thought about Socrates and his methods, I asked myself; is there a way that would help my students critically think and problem solve when it came to hunter education and the sport of hunting?

The easiest way an instructor can spark critical thinking and engage the students in problem solving is to ask the students open ended questions. This technique allows the students to be creative, elaborate on techniques and problem solve. You as the instructor can now guide the student in a positive thinking process. It allows the student to feel they are an active participant of the learning process. It does not get any better than that. So, how does one start the process of using open-ended questions?

Open-ended questions start with:

  • What
  • Who
  • How
  • Where
  • Why

Some examples are:

  • What would happen if we shoot over the hill?
  • What do you think about hunting over bait?
  • What would you do if you saw someone handling a firearm in an unsafe manner?
  • Who can demonstrate how can we cross this fence safely?
  • I wonder how this action works; can you explain this to me?
  • Where do you safely store ammunition at home?
  • Why should you wear blaze orange?

Try out this method in your classroom and field day exercises. You will be amazed at how your students will come alive. How would you incorporate this method in your class? Tell me more…