ERIC Number: ED386761
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Rhetorical Dimensions of Teaching Effectiveness.
Timmerman, Linda E. L.
An overlooked framework that allows for clearer understanding of effective teaching is the field of rhetoric. Although the concept has changed over time, Aristotle defines rhetoric as observing the available means of persuasion. These means include ethos, a speaker's credibility; pathos, appeal to emotions; and logos, appeal to reason or arguments. Aristotle's concept of ethos involves persuasion achieved by the speaker's personal character, which makes him believable. There are 3 specific elements that must be demonstrated to employ ethos to the fullest: (1) good will (i.e., caring for students); (2) expertise (i.e., knowing the subject matter); and (3) good character (i.e., demonstrating strong ethics and morals). Persuading through pathos means putting the audience in a certain frame of mind so that the other means of persuasion (ethos and logos) will be most effective. Pathos is the arousing of emotion, such as friendship or kindness, within the targeted audience. Logos, or the appeals to reason, have to do with the arguments, "provided by the words of speech itself." According to Aristotle, the main tools with which to argue logically are enthymeme and example. Each of these Aristotelian concepts, together with "argument from definition" is evident in several specific elements of effective teaching. Finally, the effective teacher must pay attention to her audience, to its needs, its socio-economic background, and its age; in addition, she must think highly of her audience to ensure the highest performance on her part. (Contains 21 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A