The method of study, devised by Dr. Martin, used in all of the Socelor teaching has expanded upon the MUSIC(A) model of academic motivation (Jones, 2009) which aims to support:
- Maximal engagement and motivation
- Learning material better than any other method known (learning does not equal memorization)
- Enhancement of some concrete cognitive enablers
- Development of some abstract cognitive enablers
In traditional learning environments, learning is almost always equated with remembering. This is not the case when using the Socelor method of learning. However, your memory for what you study, both alone and with your peers, is better for what you learn with us than any other method that is widely used. When you immerse yourself in study with the motivation that occurs when you study with us, you remember what you study.
Enhancing Some Concrete Cognitive Enablers
The learning experience is designed for you to enhance your concrete cognitive enablers (reading, writing, numeracy, and problem-solving) while learning abstract cognitive enablers (critical thinking, creativity, advanced rational thinking, complex inductive and deductive reasoning, creativity and metacognition) through vibrant and exciting evidence-based discussions about the topics of your choosing.
Developing Abstract Cognitive Enablers
The development of your abstract thinking abilities is built into the method. In addition to having to learn and discuss what they are and how they are learned as the only other required area of study, you know what is required to develop these enablers. In the emersion program (either online or face-to-face) the development of your recommendation is what drives the development of these enablers. The intense evaluation that your work receives indicates clearly what enablers you have developed, are developing, and need to develop. Tutors are available to guide you with explicit feedback of your work, one-on-one, in order for you to know exactly the kinds of things that you need to do in order to develop a specific abstract cognitive enabler.
One of the hallmarks of Socelor is that we don’t tell you what to develop, you decide for yourself. You watch your recommendation unfold and you decide what skills that you want to see in your recommendation and to what level you want that skill to be developed. It is entirely up to you.
These abstract cognitive enablers are the skills that have been used to shape the world throughout history. You can learn them and become one of the people who will shape the future. Shape the world as opposed to being shaped by the world. This future can be yours if you want it.
The Socelor Method
Given the principles above, the Socelor method of learning is surprisingly simple. You write a blog post – yes, a blog post with no other cutting edge technology needed – every week for ten weeks on the topic of your choosing, bound only by the general subject area that you are studying. You are required to write on a foundation of solid evidence. Your opinion might be great, but until you provide the evidence, it is nothing more than your opinion. The writing is short – around 500 words.
Following the publication of your post, you are required to read some of the posts of your peers you are learning with and comment on their work. The catch is that you must provide evidence to support your comments as well.
Finally, you will lead a discussion on a topic of your choice bi-weekly. The topic is any topic that you choose within the subject area. However, the reality is that you will almost always discuss the work you have written about.
Socrates would have recognized the value in what we do and would think that the blogs are a brilliant invention to enable recursive, evidence based discussions. Through these recursive, evidence based discussions, you will find your rational thinking, your ability to reason (both inductively and deductively), your ability to be creative with the insights you produce, and the soundness of your evidence continually challenged. It is through the constant meeting of these challenges across a variety of subjects that you learn to use the abstract cognitive enablers that you develop.
The comment of a young lady who took a class with Dr. Martin sums up the experience:
I” have tasted what it is like to really think and now this is the only way I ever want to learn”