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How applicable is this teaching method to other subjects?

Short answer:

As far as I can tell, this method may be used to teach any subject normally taught in a lecture format.

Long answer:

The first time I taught with this research/discussion based method, I was actually not actually teaching electronics. I had been temporarily assigned to teaching a different section of a two-year program at the college where I work, and the course subjects there were oriented toward physics and mechanical engineering.

During that temporary assignment, I also had to review some algebra with my students, so I used the same research/discussion method in teaching that subject. I found that writing Socratically-sequenced worksheet questions for mathematics was actually quite easy (click here for an example), and I see great promise for this teaching method in that subject area.

Near the very end of my temporary assignment, I wrote a worksheet on basic economics, to prepare my students for financial success when they graduated and entered the work force. Once again, the method of having students research answers to worksheet questions, then discuss their findings with me and their classmates, proved very successful. Not only did we turn a dry subject into something very interesting, but my students also taught me a few things about investing that I didn't know, just as they had taught me a few things about physics and engineering earlier in the year.

By the way, this is something you must prepare yourself for, as a teacher, if you plan on using this method. You may find students beginning to surpass your own knowledge of the subject as they develop their own learning abilities. The surest proof of autonomous learning is when students surpass their own instructor, and this is something I had to get used to during my first year of teaching this way. It is also why I am so enthusiastic about this method of teaching, because I have never encountered this phenomenon while teaching in a lecture format.

The modular structure of the worksheet files on this website lends itself to the creation of Socratic worksheets for virtually any subject. You may download an archive file containing all the necessary computer scripts ("batch files" for all you MS-DOS users reading this), plus one example question file (00000.tex) to get you started on making your own database of question and worksheet files for whatever subject you choose.

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