ERIC Number: ED288802
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
Reference Count: 0
The Role of Communication and Argument in Citizenship Education.
Katula, Richard A.
Communication is essential to the establishment and maintenance of a democracy. Democratic society is distinctive in that civic talk plays a determining role. A long tradition of civic talk exists in western democratic civilization. The Greek teacher, Protagoras, the Father of Debate, required his students to speak first on one side of an issue or principle and then on the other. Greek youth investigated the controversies and the values of the day and learned that reason exists on both sides of an argument. For a society born in public debate and brought up on freedom of expression, educators have all but forgotten to teach communication. While most students receive 12 years of language training, little of it focuses on oral communication. Today's educators need to teach students to speak about the issues confronting society and community values. Students should learn how to enter into a reasoned discourse knowing that their reasoning could be altered or that they may persuade someone to adopt their point of view. Educators should teach the system of inquiry and advocacy upon which the United States was built. Every citizen should have access to information and know how to acquire it. Discussing and arguing relevant issues should be part of every subject in the curriculum. Numerous resources available for teachers who wish to include speaking assignments in their classes are discussed. (SM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Institute for Writing, Thinking, and Citizenship Education (Cambridge, MA, July 1987).