Document Type : Letter to Editor
1 Ph.D, Education Development Center, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran
2 M.D, Education Development Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
A simple search for information sources shows that there are many researches and articles in the field of lecture method and comparison with other types of teaching methods. Interestingly enough, if not with certainty in all of these researches, at least in most of them, the result was in favor of non-lecturing. Previously, the authors emphasized the importance of rhetoric in a Persian letter (1). But given the importance and necessity of it at the international level and opening up a platform for discussion, exchange of ideas and recommendations, this letter is written.
While the way in every method of teaching we use, we must use the lecture method to express our contents. In fact, the "expression" is an integral part of our life and of all teaching methods of course. What is changed is the amount and purpose of its use. Even the use of techniques to engage students in the classroom, the teacher is not needless of lecturing, and this is a whole in the entire world. Another point is that despite the massive amount of articles that illustrate the superiority of non-lectures methods for teaching, it is the lecture method that still widely used, and other methods less used.
Lecture method has a long history in schools, universities and other educational systems (2). Despite the new and different educational methods, lecture method is still the most common method of teaching in most of our universities (3). Learning with lecture is suitable to provide the basic information and even, in sometimes, is the most appropriate teaching method (4).
One of the major issues in the lecture method is paying attention to the "Rhetorical Quality". If a high knowledge lecturer, is unable to transmit the contents appropriately; will not be considered as an effective teacher. With the passage of time and increasing teaching experience, and thus "Unconscious Mastering", the quality of presentation and expression would be improved. But it should be noted that nowadays rhetoric is a science, and just experience is not enough for today’s knowledge.
Sound is an instinctive habit, and speaking is an acquired skill (5). Whatever the speech is more efficient, the speaker's goal is better expressed (6). During speaking, must be careful about grammar (including sentence construction, arrangement of words), syntax, and fluency of the language. Words should be relevant to the topic, and has an appropriate length. Speaking turns and transparency would be respected. Also social rules such as using the appropriate words, avoid multi-laterality and ambiguity, should be considered during speech. When a person talks, explicit and implicit meanings of the words and sentences have to be noticed (7).
It does not seem that the increasing of teaching experience, increase the scientific and practical, expressive skills of the teacher; because the teacher is not initially familiar with the principles of this science. The evidences of this claim can be seen every day in different classes. There are many teachers with high teaching experiences and numerous classes over the years, who still suffered from weakness in expression and so-called "Content Transfer". To identify these teachers in any school, we could ask that faculty students.
But what is the situation of the students in these classes? Should some of these students be "inevitable victims" of this problem? Should we close our eyes on this lack of knowledge as a natural phenomenon? Mention a few pages about the lecture in textbooks, cannot be a perfect solution for effective education.
In our universities, teachers only mention these theories, and eventually at least express some research results, reproaches the lecture method, and encourage students to use other teaching methods in the future…, but in the same classroom, the lecture method is used dominantly. Increasing the quality of presentations in the classroom is not possible only through theory teaching with a few pages in the teaching methods book.
Is it not better that a course entitled "Rhetoric Teaching” be added to all of the curriculums? So the future teachers’ will familiar with the most basic needs of a lecture, which is "Eloquent Expression Techniques".
The "Rhetoric Teaching" has been so much missing or considered unimportant that even short training courses are not intended for it. A series of theoretical and practical rhetoric teaching short courses for postgraduate students, who later have the chance to enter the field of education, will be beneficial.
Recognition of phonemes and syllables and appropriate use of them will help to "be heard of the teacher”. Aberrant expression of a lecturer (teacher) will disconnect the relationship with the audience (students), and the content transfer by this lecture does not form correctly. However, education would be meaningless without any relationships (8), and appropriate expression is one of the factors for favorable relationship in education (9).
So the quality of teaching and learning will be reduced. Our purpose is to emphasize the importance of rhetoric in university education. The teaching of these techniques is required for all of the teachers who are the most speakers in our society.
It must be admitted that such a suggestion is not the definitive healing version, but looks can have an effective role in improving the current situation. The main task of teachers is to transfer the most important concepts of knowledge to the most important listeners of the society (students). Awareness of subjects such as tone, height, and volume of the voice and recognition of phonemes, syllables and their application in teaching will help the teacher act as an actor in the theater. By using of expression techniques, the students will be fascinated, enthused, and get better the contents.
“The teacher is the actor of the teaching scene.”
We declare no conflict of interest.