Charles Ames Fischer

Teacher Author Consultant Mentor

Testimonials

Quotes Every conversation I've ever had with Chuck has left me astonished at the level of perspective he has on the world. The related facts and ideas he can share during a Socratic Seminar or just during a conversation are amazing. Chuck is the greatest teacher I've ever had, because of his ability to evenly distribute his knowledge on the subject and also to challenge us, the students, by leaving gaps for us to fill in, and letting us make the logical or philosophical jumps as a student body. I've learned more from his classes than from any other, because even the most specific of classes he teaches will teach very many things. Socratic Seminar was a way to repeatedly practice public speaking and sharing your opinion, as well as arguing your point logically, taking notes on all the important things said in class, and of course, reading and looking and listening to things in a whole new perspective. Chuck is a truly wonderful and talented teacher. Quotes
Jesse Rowan
Former Student

Quotes When I reflect on the Socratic Seminars I've attended over the years, two major lessons come to mind. The first is to always listen to and consider the ideas, opinions, and philosophies of others. I've learned that while I may not always agree with them, they have incredible value and I should always be willing to incorporate and consider them. The second major lesson I discovered is how to teach myself by thinking deeply about my own ideas, the ideas of others, and to research and synthesize this information into new conclusions and discoveries. Far more often than not, my own perspective has been changed and molded as I became willing to shift my own paradigms as new sources and ideas influenced my own perspectives. I would say that the most important discovery I made while taking part in Socratic Seminars is to be willing to shift my own paradigms by melding new and bizarre ideas from other people into my original understanding of the world we all experience. Quotes
Dany Hamel
Former Student

Quotes In writing about Charles Fischer, I risk sounding hyperbolic, for I can use nothing but superlatives to describe this special man. He is one of the most enthusiastic, dedicated, and wisest practitioners I have ever worked with, and he is THE finest middle school teacher I have known in my forty years of experience in education. He is one of the few people I have known who can teach any age. I have seen him successfully include two second-graders in a middle school philosophy class. He has taught in our upper elementary, middle school and high school. He is a fine teacher of adults as well. John Steinbeck describes great teachers as follows, "They did not tell - they catalyzed a burning desire to know. Under their influence, the horizons sprung wide..." This epitomizes Charles's practice. Quotes
Louise Stilphen
Headmaster, Sparhawk School [email protected]

Quotes At a time when school is famously boring for 12 and 13 year old children, Chuck shows his students that learning goes beyond the disciplines. He encourages them to see beyond the classroom, and learn important life lessons such as those which come by attending a pow-wow. Chuck asks students to think critically about their place in the world, as when his students came to school on the Columbus Day holiday to express their protest. And he exposes them to ideas that would never have otherwise crossed their path, as was the case when they studied Arabic Literature. Teachers such as Charles Fischer are rare. He continues to be my son's mentor even after my son has left the school. Quotes
J.K.
Parent

Quotes I learned of Charles Fischer's Socratic Seminar classes at Sparhawk School through my son. He loved his classes with "Chuck" and learned a great deal about developing thoughts from seemingly simple or singular ideas. Students are asked to speak after having listened to the interpretations of others regarding a host of contexts. I work with teachers that provide instruction to English Learners who need opportunities to speak often while negotiating meaning through a second language. Chuck developed a workshop for teachers on Socratic Seminar strategies for English Learners which was a great success. It was engaging and remarkable to experience the degree of critical thinking and discussion etiquette that is involved. We are looking forward to more workshops for our staff with Chuck and for his continued guidance in this most important area of language acquisition. Quotes
Graciela Trilla, Ed.D.
English Learner Education Supervisor K-12

Quotes Basically, I see a Socratic Seminar as a way to "mine" knowledge, for lack of a better term. When students read a text, sure they gain some basic knowledge about what they've taken in, but I found that Socratic Seminars made me really think about the topic. You get to interact with other students, learn what they think the text meant, and challenge your own assumptions as a result. On a more personal note, I've found that the whole experience has turned out to be very helpful in college. While we don't exactly have Socratic Seminars here, professors have constantly encouraged us to speak up in class, to raise a question or to challenge an existing assumption. I really think that my experience with Socratic Seminars has given me a unique head start in that area. A couple of times students have found it surprising how willing I am to talk in situations where I am invited to do so. Socratic Seminars taught me to do that, to interact with learning, rather than just experience it. Quotes
Jeremy Rozen
Former Student

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What is your favorite book of all time?

Mystery Box

The word facetious has all five vowels (in order too) and facetiously even includes the letter 'y'. What other words contain all five vowels?

Testimonials

  • "In writing about Charles Fischer, I risk sounding hyperbolic, for I can use nothing but superlatives to describe this special man. He is one of the most enthusiastic, dedicated,..."
    Louise Stilphen
    Headmaster, Sparhawk School [email protected]

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