Roger Schank Launches New Company: Socratic Arts

January 29, 2002

PITTSBURGH, JANUARY 28, 2002 – Dr. Roger Schank, a world-renowned expert on

computers and education and author of more than 25 books, today announces that

he has launched Socratic Arts, a company focused on providing higher education

institutions with high-quality, inexpensive curricula that is based on "learn

by doing" methodology. By using a combination of mentors and online support,

Socratic Arts is building an entire master’s degree for less than the cost of

one high-quality e-learning course.

"The most effective way to teach new skills is to put learners in the

kinds of situations in which they need to use those skills and to provide mentors

who help learners when they need it," said Roger Schank, chief education

officer of Carnegie Mellon West and distinguished career professor of the School

of Computer Science. "Socratic Arts will focus on helping universities

deliver meaningful, yet inexpensive "learning by doing" curricula

that focus on real-world skills and give students degrees for work accomplished

rather than courses passed."

Socratic Arts’ first partnership is with Carnegie Mellon University’s School

of Computer Science to build an entire online master’s degree in computer science

for the school’s professional information technology disciplines. The first

degrees will be offered starting in May both online and in person at Carnegie

Mellon’s campuses, including the new Silicon Valley campus Carnegie Mellon West.

The first degree offerings include:

The degrees are designed to provide real-world project and problem-solving

experience and are mentored by Carnegie Mellon faculty.

Socratic Arts’ e-learning programs are based on a new approach called the Story-Centered

Curriculum. The Story-Centered Curriculum represents a dramatic departure from

traditional master’s degree curricula. It is "learning-by-doing" based,

rather than listen-and-test based. In fact, there are no classes, no courses,

and no tests. Students learn by working together on projects that are part of

a larger "story" – a business – in which they are playing a role.

Help is offered by professors and by local experts on a just-in-time basis.

Socratic Arts is also working to provide this new "story-centered curricula"

to corporations and secondary education institutions.

About Roger Schank

Schank is one of the world’s leading researchers in artificial intelligence

and applying cognitive learning theory to education. He has written more than

25 books including Virtual Learning: A Revolutionary Approach to Building a

Highly Skilled Workforce, Coloring Outside the Lines: Raising a Smarter Kid

by Breaking All the Rules, Dynamic Memory: A Theory of Learning in Computers

and People, and Engines for Education. His latest book, Designing World-Class

E-Learning, was published by McGraw-Hill in November 2001.

Schank is the John Evans Professor Emeritus in computer science, education

and psychology at Northwestern University, where he founded the Institute for

the Learning Sciences. Schank has also taught at Yale University and Stanford


Before founding Socratic Arts, Schank founded and served as chairman and chief

technology officer of Cognitive Arts Corp., a provider of goal-based multi-media

simulation training to Fortune 500 corporations and Ivy League universities.

About Socratic Arts

Founded by world-renowned e-learning expert Dr. Roger Schank in January 2002,

Socratic Arts’ goal is to change the nature of the education curriculum to provide

meaningful and real-world skills to students. Socratic Arts uses the new medium

of the computer and Internet to replace the traditional course model of lectures

and tests with "learn by doing" curricula that teach practical skills

based on a new approach called the Story-Centered Curriculum. To learn more

about Socratic Arts, visit <>.

Press contact:

Linda Stephen

RLM Public Relations

Tel: 212-741-5106 X 17