It is often said that lecturing is a poor teaching method, a kind of last resort for instruction. Many lecturers, in fact, do not know how to impart information or stimulate interest effectively; consequently, their lectures are often poorly presented, badly organized, dull, and uninspiring. Even when the lectures are finely presented and well organized, and the lecturer magnificently ... [Show full abstract] charismatic, many educators will continue to argue that the method is still a poor second best because lecturing tends to keep students passive. After all, the argument continues, isn't the whole aim of teaching to make students think, which requires personal activity on their part? This argument often concludes with a question, Was Socrates a lecturer? In some senses, then, this argument is as much in favor of seminars, tutorials, and similar discussion-oriented forms of teaching as it is against lectures. I happen to believe that these criticisms of the lecture method are misleading, and so I want to begin by giving some arguments in favor of the lecture—starting with Socrates. To begin with, I don't think that Socrates is the best possible argument to use against the lecture method. He didn't, for example, come to the best of all possible ends, he never published, and, most important, he really had rather few students—and very unusual ones at that. Now, if I had fewer than a dozen students, one of whom was Plato and the other was Alcibiades, I don't think I'd lecture either. Unfortunately, neither of them has seen fit thus far to enroll in my introductory psychology course. My point is that Socrates may not be the best model to use when considering various teaching methods because his was not the situation that we face. In this country, professors have to teach vast numbers of students. The last time I looked at the data, some fifty percent of American high school graduates enroll as freshmen in some college. Now, how can we manage to teach that massive number of people in seminars? There simply are not enough professors or teaching assistants to go around.