For education

Education and learning are the cornerstones of personal growth and personal development, Socrates points at the importance of good thinking, to lead a good life. Learning and development should always be directed to acquire wisdom. This implies knowledge of the past, knowledge of the culture and knowledge of  your self. We are personalised cultures, therefore learning is a two side endeavour, it is initiating into the culture of meaning and creating a meaning your self. Science, art and philosophy are all part of the learning quest.  Most people refer to learning as a think they did in the past, the wonderful challenge is to keep on learning your whole life long.

A Socratic dialogue can transform a group of students into a collaborative mind with strong shared values. Socratic dialogues have a threefold dimension, they establish a climate of optimal listening and respect, they create sensitivity for the hidden assumptions  in ourselves and in our culture and they realise concrete , experience based integral knowledge.
An important effect is, that each of the participants „experience” the capacity to think and to create knowledge. While normally the expert or teacher talks, in the dialogue also the expert put forward questions and „listens”. In this way all fixed theories and assumptions can be questioned and investigated, which can lead to a way out of the comfort zones.

These dialogues are very suited to bring us in a context of strong positive assumptions like the one that people are empathic and want to share. Most of us and most of our environments host negative assumptions about men and his behaviour, in the Socratic dialogue we can instantly – for a moment – leave that behind. Especially in educational contexts students are very susceptible for negative inputs.  Most abstract theories, when transferred  to students, are far away removed from the question from which these theories once arose. With this method the students start to acquire self confidence and „eigen” value or self respect. Above all they learn to formulate questions and see the relation between questioning and knowledge. They experience in a way  the „origin” of theory making.

It is one of the most motivating tools in universities, art academies  and high/grammar schools. We apply the method in universities , schools and art academies. 

For teachers, professors and coaches the skill of moderating the Socratic dialogue could change their educational practice into an exciting adventure. Most teachers are not in a process of learning, the Socratic discourse can awake philosophical motivation within them. We train teachers and educators in a 3 or 4 day training. During these sessions burning questions related to the institute or academy are the start of a innovative thinking process about the educational practices itself.

If you want to develop changeling plans with your team, boost their companionship and empower their learning and teaching capacities a collective training is optimal.

The sessions are mostly held in Catalonia but can also be organised anywhere as long as it is outside the institution and preferably  in a concentrated period of 4 days.

The socratic design lab is a concentrated think-and-do tank in which students, artists or other professionals join in a common effort to create new futures and design new practices for living and working. The lab is a trans disciplinary event and mostly takes one week . The Socratic design method is the organizer of the lab in which value-creating, socratic dialogues, good practices and scenario building form the key elements.

This lab is a concrete context of the way we can organise education in the future. The pupils (of all levels) or students (of all disciplines) join together in investigations on any subject or theme that is relevant to them. The end result is manifested in strong paradigmatic and performative future scenarios.The participants design their future with scientific and artistic knowledges and own experiences as building blocks.

These labs were held for the municipality of Amsterdam with vocational schools. Also art academies and master programs participated in this program. We organise regularly labs in Spain, but they can be held anywhere as long as the conditions are appropriate for a lab.

You can use the lab as a platform for innovative practices in your institute. 

In this format you design a new future for your institute: new rituals, procedures, structures and organisations fitting in that future. The starting question can be of any kind. We can leave behind old assumptions.
Learning is becoming the key value in the future, not as a means to but as a goal in itself. Other types of learning contexts are necessary.  How can we create optimal learning contexts?

With several institutions we solved urgent problems by creating new futures. These workshops can be in the house or preferably outside the daily routine.

This is a radically new context for learning integrating e-learning, internet and philosophy and art. The dialogues are the daily organizers, philosophy and art are the vehicles by which we connect the personal questions to the world of science and technology.
It is important that young people acquire the capacity to organise there learning process, incorporating new knowledge and applying that in their future professional loves. What this model triggers is that the pupils and students design their future world, incorporating technology, aesthetics and ethics in their practical scenarios.

Humberto Schwab gives master courses at different art academies, universities and business schools in Europe. This can be introductory courses, training courses or master courses. it can very from a few days till a few weeks.

Any question for education or training can be proposed (private lessons, long distance courses, short course)