Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes... are like childhood characters with whom they identify according to their viewpoints on magic, time travel, and the future of technology ~ highly relevant subjects for any person interested in the space, time, location, possibility, and the trajectory of their lives as well as the future of humankind.
Rather than tricking kids (something most tests are designed to do), I have developed an approach that makes learning so easy that kids instead utilize the material as their own. This encourages students to instead focus on the big questions during classroom debates and discussions. True thinking and participation earns kids "good grades" ... the comprehension just seems to go along with the experience. When kids are having fun and actively engaged, they form emotional attachments to the information. This results in "remembering" information much longer than traditional approaches yields... and without the stress.
I still grade their work, make corrections and present them with standard letter grades. However, I offer this as a transition from traditional pedagogical practices (something engrained into most teachers, parents, and students). When it comes to letter grades on transcripts, I grade according to participation and the ability to present new, logical, creative or otherwise funny thoughts on the material we study.
Personally, I believe in following our dreams first... pursuing Plan B second (i.e., go to school, get good grades in outdated subjects, go to university to specialize, learn how to organize, and follow through, so that one might "get a job" doing more of the same until one retires and if they are lucky, finally get a chance to paint, draw, write, sculpt, work on cars, or restore antiques in order to give their life deeper meaning).
I mention this because quality thinking and the ability to examine one's life are the two most important skills (in my opinion) a parent or teacher can pass along to the next generation of global citizens. With clear thinking follows better thoughts and actions, which leads to improved lives for everyone on the planet.
In a world such as ours that is so vastly changing, it is more relevant to teach a child to "think well" than it is to fill their minds with facts and figures they quickly forget. Talk about a waste of everyone's time...
As you will see, the questions are simple and straightforward ~ almost "too" easy. But remember what's important here... encouraging young minds to "think" rather than "memorize"... and to use books and computers as "tools" to gather relevant information in order to make logically sound (or at least well-thought-out) decisions and choices.
Thinking and choosing well are two essential life skills that can vastly improve the quality of our lives and our children's futures. Sound thinking is, along with love and emotionally mature guidance and support, one of the best gifts we can give children.
Dr. Laughing holds a doctorate degree in Logic (Philosophy) from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (1998). She is a homeschooling mother who has taken her children to over 40 countries for cultural edification. Her interests include pedagogy, thinking about stuff, drawing Stick Figures, telling jokes, international travel, learning new languages, exploring quantum physics, rollerblading, sailing, hiking up pyramids for a better view of the valley below, reading books on philosophy, collecting antiques, preserving cultural heritage, and throwing lavish parties to entertain friends and family ...