Wisdom Begins with Wonder

The Educator’s Hippocratic Oath

Historically, when aspiring physicians become doctors, they have taken the Hippocratic Oath (or something akin to it).

I think we need a Hippocratic Oath for educators. Call it the Socratic Oath.

Socrates (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Socrates (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Humbly submitted, The Socratic Oath (draft):

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won educational gains of those teachers in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the student, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of standardization and educational nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh pedagogy or discipline.

I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a student’s learning.

I will respect the privacy of my students, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of educational success and failure. If it is given to me to inspire a student to greatness, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to crush a student’s dreams; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not teach a gradebookan IEP, but a human being, whose education may affect the person’s family and future. My responsibility includes these related concerns, if I am to educate adequately a whole person.

I will prevent dropouts whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings,  including students, families, and fellow educators.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of success educating those who I have the opportunity to teach.

Source for Hippocratic Oath: Wikipedia

Please contribute your suggested changes, additions, etc!



1 comment so far ↓

  • #   John Pearce on 11.20.13 at 8:56 am     

    Im wrote one and have been using it for ages…
    email me..


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