Rhetorical ‘paedeia’ in modern educational settings: From theory to praxis… again

Foteini Egglezou

Hellenic Institute of Rhetorical and Communication Studies

E-mail: fegglezou@yahoo.gr

Abstract: The current paper intends to call for an educational rhetorical turn in school practice in the modern educational settings. This goal will be achieved at two levels: theory and praxis. Firstly, at the theory level, the diachronic value of rhetorical paideia (παιδεία) / pedagogy will be shown through the examination of its classical teachings as diachronic sources for empowering the learning and teaching process. Also, the correlation of classical rhetoric to the principles of modern pedagogical theories, will show the inborn pedagogical nature of rhetoric and its main essential qualities.

Secondly, at the praxis level, reference will be made to the use of various oral rhetorical activities as implemented in classrooms world-wide. Interpretive reading, practice in impromptu speech, exhortative speech and, mainly, in argumentation represent modern features of rhetorical paideia. Undoubtedly, within the core of rhetorical paideia stands the teaching of argument through various linguistic games and forms of debates, affirming the Protagorean conception that dittoi logoi/(debate) still consist of a precious pedagogical and epistemic methods, which increase students’ knowledge in various fields about the word and the world.

Nowadays, more than ever, it is necessary for educators and students to rehabilitate the relationship between education and rhetoric. In contrast to stagnant curriculums, monotonous teaching practices, passive approaches to learning and to life, rhetorical paideia is, still, the only revolutionary educational approach for the formation of skillful, integral, critical persons, who may affront effectively the challenges of life both as individuals and as collective characters in the modern world.

Keywords: rhetorical paideia/pedagogy, theory, praxis, interpretive reading, impromptu speech, exhortative speech, argumentation, dittoi logoi/(debate).

Rhetoric and Communications E-journal, Issue 35, July 2018, rhetoric.bg/, journal.rhetoric.bg, ISSN 1314-4464

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