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The Socratic Journey: Plato’s cave, Coleridge’s pretty cot, and Toad’s Manor


Buck Holler


Presented at the CiRCE National Conference 2023.

Socratic teaching is not only for older students. Most of us are familiar with Plato’s allegory of the cave. Nearly everyone has heard of or read Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. A few of us know Coleridge’s poem, Reflections on Having Left a Place of Retirement. Each of these sources – a philosophical text, a poem, and a children’s story – takes the reader on a Socratic journey. From these three texts we learn what the Socratic journey is and how to lead our students at all ages along its path.