The use of the Socratic inquiry to facilitate critical thinking in nursing education
Background: Critical thinking is a skill that nurse practitioners are required to have. Socratic inquiry can be used to facilitate critical thinking in nursing. Nurse educators seek methods to infuse into teaching content to facilitate students’ critical thinking skills, and one of such methods is the use of Socratic inquiry as a teaching method.
Aim: This article aims to explore and describe how Socratic inquiry can be used to facilitate critical thinking in nursing education.
Setting: This study took place in a nursing department at a university in Johannesburg.
Methods: A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual design was used. Purposive sampling was used to draw a sample of 15 nurse educators determined by data saturation. Miles, Huberman and Saldaña’s methodology of qualitative data analysis was used. Lincoln and Guba’s strategies for trustworthiness and Dhai and McQuoid-Mason’s principles of ethical consideration were used.
Results: Three main themes emerged: the context necessary for Socratic inquiry, dispositions in Socratic inquiry and strategies to use in Socratic inquiry to facilitate critical thinking skills of students.
Conclusions: Socratic inquiry can be used both in education and practice settings to facilitate the use of critical thinking skills to solve problems.
Keywords: dialogue; questioning; higher order thinking; critical thinking; Socratic.
The author(s) retain copyright on work published by AOSIS unless specified otherwise.
Licensing and publication rights
Author(s) of work published by AOSIS are required to grant AOSIS the unlimited rights to publish the definitive work in any format, language and medium, for any lawful purpose. AOSIS requires journal authors to publish their work in open access under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence.
The authors retain the non-exclusive right to do anything they wish with the published article(s), provided attribution is given to the applicable journal with details of the original publication, as set out in the official citation of the article published in the journal. The retained right specifically includes the right to post the article on the authors’ or their institution’s websites or in institutional repositories.
Previously published work may have been published under a different licence. We advise the community that if they would like to reuse the work to consult the applicable licence at article level.
Note: If you need to comply with your funding body policy, you can apply for the CC BY license after your manuscript is accepted for publication.