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ERIC Number: ED352672
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Isocratean Discourse Theory and Neo-Sophistic Pedagogy: Implications for the Composition Classroom.
Blair, Kristine L.
With the recent interest in the fifth century B.C. theories of Protagoras and Gorgias come assumptions about the philosophical affinity of the Greek educator Isocrates to this pair of older sophists. Isocratean education in discourse, with its emphasis on collaborative political discourse, falls within recent definitions of a sophist curriculum. That is, skills learned in the sophistic classroom are applied directly to the "polis." Examination of Isocrates' writings shows that, for Isocrates, the most useful discourse is that which has a social end. Overall, Isocrates's educational theory favors social interaction through language, as well as probable rather than absolute knowledge. One element missing from contemporary composition instruction is just such an emphasis on public discourse. Furthermore, neo-sophistic pedagogical strategies can be based on Isocratean as well as Protagorean theory. These strategies allow students to voice their views publicly about localized student and community issues. Such assignments will involve not only written forums but also oral and electronic forums that are collaborative and epistemic in nature. Finally, the notion that the fostering of citizenship is an achievable goal in composition classes should not be overlooked, especially as instructors aid students in realizing that they can become part of ongoing public dialogues. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A