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for Elective Subject Rhetoric Grade 9: 32 lessons
Passed at the 27th meeting of the Council of Experts of the Republic of Slovenia for General Education, 8 April 1999. Subject Curricular Commission for Rhetoric Igor Z. Zagar, PhD, PI Ljubljana, President Rastko Mocnik, PhD, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana University Renata Zadravec Pesec, MA, Ministry of Science and Technology Marta Pavlin, Miren Primary School Igor Saksida, PhD, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana University Authors: Igor Z. Zagar, Rastko Mocnik, Renata Zadravec Pesec Consultant: Marta Pavlin, Barbara Rebolj Translation: Nika Schlamberger Rhetoric Grade 9: 32 lessons 1. 2. 3. Definition General Objectives Operative Objectives Functional Objectives Educational Objectives Analysis of Operative Objectives 4. 5. Special Didactic Recommendations Catalogue of Performance Basic and Minimum Standards 6. Appendix Teacher Qualifications
Rhetoric is a discipline which, in various forms and scope, has accompanied mankind practically throughout history. This, of course, is not accidental, since the aim and objective of rhetoric is the analysis and more accurate and precise formation of arguments and techniques of persuasion in all spheres of human life from everyday, seemingly trivial conversation through the media and educational system (to mention but two spheres) to scientific discourse. What is said or written can have an optimal effect only where a speech or written record is adequately structured − when it is relevant to its objective or its target audience.
The aim of rhetoric as a compulsory elective subject is to teach pupils not only the concepts of persuasion and argument, but also the techniques of persuasion, elements of persuasion procedure, factors of successful persuasion, forms of persuasion, structuring of (persuasive) speech, and versatile command of speech situations, the difference between persuasion and argument, the distinction between good and bad arguments, elements of good argumentation, and (if time and interest allow for it) incorrect argumentative procedures on the other. Teaching rhetoric in Grade 9 is not an end in itself; above all, it should teach pupils to independently, coherently and critically form and express their opinions in other subjects in the course of further education as well as in all (other) areas of social and private life. The preparation of the present syllabus is based on the findings (and recommendations) of contemporary linguistic pragmatics, primarily in parts concerning the ethics of dialogue and the argumentative function of language. 2. General Objectives
To rhetoric as a compulsory elective subject, 32 lessons (of 45 minutes) a year are assigned, or 1 lesson a week in Grade 9. Due to the specific demands of the subject (oral presentation and its analysis by all pupils), the Commission suggests (at least as a possibility and where possible) the instruction of rhetoric in multiple hour units, i.e. two lessons together. 3. Operative Objectives
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Pupils learn what rhetoric is. Pupils learn why it is useful to learn rhetoric. Pupils learn the ethics of dialogue. Pupils learn what argumentation is. Pupils learn the difference between good and bad argument (not compulsory). By learning the component parts of rhetorical technique, pupils understand how they can form a convincing speech. 7. Pupils learn how important the characteristics of the speaker and the passions of the listeners are for successful persuasion. 8. Pupils learn about the origins and history of rhetoric (not compulsory). Educational Objectives
1. Pupils learn to perform in public and to express their points of view. 2. Pupils learn successful persuasion and argumentation.
Analysis of Operative Objectives 1. Pupils learn what rhetoric is. Topics and Objectives Definition sciences, Pupils learn that rhetoric is not Based on concrete school Arts, an art or a science, but a skill (or subjects, pupils look at the techniques, skills. difference between arts (e.g. technique). music and painting), sciences (e.g. mathematics and physics), and skills (e.g. physical education: skiing and skating). Definition a) Pupils learn that rhetoric is a a) Pupils read examples of a Persuasion, skill of successful (oral) successful and an unsuccessful argumentation, speech either historical (distant sociality, values. persuasion and argumentation. or recent) or contemporary; they try to find out why one was a success and the other failed. b) Pupils prepare two speeches b) Pupils understand the social on the same subject: one which dependency of successful they think will be a success, and persuasion: its dependency on another which they think will speech situation, target audience fail; they explain the reasons for their decision in the classroom. and the valid system of values. Civic Education and Ethics, Slovene, Mathematics, Physics, Art Education. Activities Concepts Cross-Curricular Connections
Civic Education and Ethics, Slovene.
2. Pupils learn why it is useful to learn rhetoric. Topics and Objectives Everyday rhetoric applicability of Slovene. Activities Concepts Cross-Curricular Connections
Pupils understand that rhetoric a) Pupils read a few examples helps us persuade and understand from literature aloud (e.g. Tom Sawyer painting the fence). in a variety of situations. b) Pupils themselves try to find (e.g. in the mass media, literature and in everyday life) examples of arguments for and against something. Pupils understand why it is a) Pupils look at examples of Sameness/variety, possible to talk with conviction different − even diametrically one/many. in different (and even opposing) opposed − speeches on the same ways about the same thing. subject (e.g. sports, music, film, television and politics). b) Pupils invent examples of different (even opposing) ways of argumentation on everyday family issues: doing the dishes, tidying, etc, and enact them from their different perspectives. c) Pupils explain why it is (in their opinion) possible to look at the same things from different perspectives.
Philosophy, Civic Education and Ethics, Slovene.
3. Pupils learn the ethics of dialogue. Topics and Objectives a) Pupils learn the unwritten rules that lead a conversation (understand maxims of quality, quantity, relation and manner). Activities Cross-Curricular Connections Quality, quantity, Slovene. relation, manner, presupposition, implication (implicature), facts, perspectives/points-ofview. Concepts
a) Pupils in work groups again examine their past activities (speeches) and find out whether they have been formed in accordance with the maxims that b) Pupils understand that what lead a conversation. has been said reaches beyond the Pupils look for literal (they understand what b) presuppositions and implications conversations/discussions (interviews) in the media, they (implicatures) are). analyse them and find out whether they have been conducted in accordance with the maxims that lead a conversation; c) Pupils understand that in the same discussions they also language is not only a neutral look for presuppositions and means of persuasion and implications. argumentation, but that it can c) Pupils look for other language also persuades and arguments by particles (and/or possible other itself (e.g. language particles mechanisms) that can show the such as already/only, only/almost same actual state of affaires from different, or even opposing, etc). perspectives; together they analyse the phenomenon and argue their opinion as to why such linguistic phenomena occur.
4. Pupils learn what argumentation is. Topics and Objectives Pupils learn argumentation is. a) Pupils definition. understand what Activities Concepts Cross-Curricular Connections
statement, Civic Education and the a) Pupils in work groups analyse Fact, examples from textbooks they argumentation. Ethics, Slovene. use in other subjects (and also in b) Pupils learn the basic elements magazines they read, TV shows of argumentative procedure (they they watch, etc.) in terms of the topic is understand what data, claim and whether given/explained in accordance warrant are). with the elements of argumentative procedure.
5. Pupils learn the difference between good and bad argument (not compulsory). Topics and Objectives Pupils learn the difference between good and bad argument. a) Pupils understand that good argument has to be true, acceptable, connected and sufficient for the intended purpose. Activities Concepts Cross-curricular Connections
a) Pupils in work groups analyse examples from textbooks they use in other subjects (and also in magazines they read, TV shows they watch, etc.), and explain whether and why the arguments used are true, acceptable, connected and sufficient. b) Pupils draw up a list of possible or probable common b) Pupils learn what common places used in everyday life. places, or topoi, are and what their role is (they understand that they represent the starting point in argumentation shared by the speaker and the person spoken c) Pupils record a conversation from everyday life (e.g. family to). c) Pupils understand the discussion at breakfast or lunch difference between syllogism or conversation with friends) and and ethymeme (rhetorical find enthymemes in it; they argue their findings and present syllogism). them in the classroom.
Truth, acceptability, Civic Education and connection, Ethics, Slovene. sufficiency, common places, syllogism, enthymeme.
6. By learning the component parts of rhetorical technique, pupils understand how they can form a convincing speech. Topics and Objectives Invention (inventio) − what we are going to say. a) Pupils understand how they can find arguments on any topic/subject by asking the right questions (who, what, where, with whose help, how, why, when). Activities Concepts Cross-Curricular Connections
b) Pupils also learn that arguments can be “internal” (dependent on persuasion/ argumentative procedure) or “external” (not dependent on persuasion/ argumentative procedure) whereby they learn how to use references. Disposition (dispositio) of what we have found a) Pupils understand that only with proper disposition of speech components (introduction, narration, digression, argumentation and epilogue) is it possible to achieve persuasive effects.
a) By using the net of seven Invention (inventio), Slovene. questions (who, what, etc.) “internal” arguments, pupils practise looking for “external” arguments. arguments on a given subject (e.g. the Olympic slalom winner, the heaviest man on Earth, the President of the Republic or pollution of the environment). b) Pupils in work groups consolidate the distinction between “external” (decrees, acts, agreements, deeds, contracts, testimonies and rumours) and “internal” (example, enthymeme) arguments.
a) Pupils in work groups analyse individual texts (e.g. from fiction, journalism and spoken) and find out whether they are composed/written in accordance with the rules of rhetoric; they argue their findings and explain them in the classroom (also in discussion with a fellow pupil representing the opposing pointof-view). b) Pupils prepare short speeches b) Pupils learn speech in accordance with the rules of components and understand their rhetoric on a given topic; they argue their decision (choice and function. order of speech components) and explain it in the classroom. Elocution (elocutio) − arguments/facts are put into words according to the situation a) Pupils understand that with different wordings of the same topic (the same arguments) they can achieve different effects on their listeners. a) Using the basic techniques of different wordings, pupils change the given text to make it sound more/less polite/convincing, etc.; they explain their decision, in accordance with the rules of rhetorical skill and speech structure, in the classroom (also
Disposition Slovene. (dispositio), introduction, narration, digression, argumentation, epilogue.
Elocution (elocutio), adding, taking away, replacing, changing position.
Above all Slovene, Civic Education and Ethics, but in principle all other subjects.
in discussion with a fellow pupil representing the opposing pointof-view). b) Pupils write a short speech on an given subject and then exchange it with the pupil sitting next to them, who tries to (re)write the speech using other words by: · Keeping the same stress; · Making it sound stronger (sharper); · Making it sound weaker (softer); · trying to reshape the given speech by using the same expressions to persuade/argument in the opposite direction; they explain their decisions in accordance with the rules of rhetorical skill and speech structure in the classroom. Memorising (memoria) − how to remember a speech Pupils learn the importance of memory for good performance and efficient persuasion; they learn about mnemonic techniques used by orators in the past as well as modern memorising techniques (for example, mind-mapping). a) Pupils present short speeches Memorising which they have learnt by heart (memoria). or using another technique. b) Pupils explain in the classroom how they structured their speech mnemonically; they try to use the learned mnemonic techniques in other subjects. Above all Slovene, but in principle all subjects.
Action (actio) − how to interpret or act out a speech a) Pupils understand the importance of performance and non-verbal language/body language for efficient persuasion. b) Pupils learn and understand how gesticulation and mimics emphasise or weaken what has been said. c) Pupils learn the importance of stress, intonation, tempo, rhythm, pitch and intensity of voice for successful persuasion. a) Pupils (if possible) listen to a famous speech from history, the effects of which are well-known (they can also use inserts from films). b,c) Pupils read the same speech many times by changing gesticulation and mimics, stress, intonation, tempo, rhythm, pitch and intensity of voice (even drop or unnaturally strengthen them); they discuss the effects and reasons for such effects (also with a fellow pupil representing the opposing point-of-view). Action (actio), non- Above all Slovene, but verbal language, body in principle all language, subjects. gesticulation, mimics.
7. Pupils learn how important the character (ethos) of the speaker and the passions (pathos) of the listener are for successful persuasion. Topics and Objectives Pupils learn the basic elements of communication situation (speaker, addressee, message and context). a) Pupils learn and understand that in different contexts (seemingly) the same message can have different effects (and meanings). b) Pupils learn that in (seemingly) similar contexts, the “same” message can have different effects (different meaning) for different speakers. c) Pupils learn the importance of character for successful persuasion demonstrated by the speaker to the audience, and emotions (passions) stirred in the audience by the speaker. Activities Concepts Cross-Curricular Connections
a) Pupils simulate different contexts and different addressees based on a speech they are familiar with or which they have already dealt with. b) Pupils rewrite the same speech in order to make it sound convincing only by appealing to authority (character) of the speaker, or by influencing the emotions of the addressee (also with a fellow pupil representing the opposing point-of-view); they discuss different effects and (possible) reasons for them.
Communication Slovene, Civic situation, speaker, Education and Ethics. addressee, message, context, character (ethos), passions (pathos).
8. Pupils learn about the origins and history of rhetoric (not compulsory). Topics and Objectives Activities Concepts Cross-Curricular Connections History, geography.
Pupils learn the origins and Pupils look for information on history of rhetoric (Sicily, 485 the social and economic BC; land disputes; social and situation in Sicily in 485 BC in different media (incl. Internet) economical reasons). and − in accordance with all the rules of rhetorical skill learned so far − explain the circumstances leading to the emergence/origins of rhetoric. Pupils learn rhetoric genres Pupils read a historic example (judicial, deliberative and of a judicial, deliberative and epideictic speech). epideictic speech and − in accordance with all the rules of rhetorical skill learned so far − prepare short speeches of the three genres. Pupils learn different Pupils look for information on approaches and different sophists, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero opinions on rhetoric (Greek and Quintillianus in different sources: sophists, Plato, media (incl. Internet); with Aristotle; Roman sources: teacher’s help they look for and Cicero, Quintillianus). − in accordance with all the rules of rhetoric skill learned so far − present their perspective on rhetoric. Pupils learn the role of rhetoric Pupils read examples from in the Middle Ages and the history for quaestio and Renaissance (rhetoric as a part disputatio and − in work of septem artes liberales; groups and in accordance with rhetoric as a way of looking for all the rules of rhetoric skill truth: question (quaestio), learned so far − prepare two disputation (disputatio)). short examples of quaestio and disputatio; if possible concerning issues dealt with in other subjects. Pupils learn about the role of a) Pupils name, describe, and rhetoric after 1500 (rhetoric give examples for tropes and becomes less and less the skill of figures of speech they are successful persuasion and more already familiar with. and more the classification (and b) Pupils in work groups with listing) of tropes and figures of teacher’s help look for and draw up a list of tropes and figures of speech. speech from different areas of everyday life.
Judicial speech, Slovene, Civic deliberative speech, Education and Ethics. epideictic speech
Sophists, Aristotle, Quintillianus.
Plato, Civic Education and Cicero, Ethics, Slovene.
Septem artes liberales, Civic Education and question (quaestio), Ethics, Slovene. disputation (disputatio).
Special Didactic Recommendations A The syllabus for the instruction of rhetoric lists pupil activities as well as topics necessary to attain set objectives. The instruction of rhetoric is linked to pupils’ experiences in everyday life and life in school as acquired in other subjects (e.g. essays, group-work reports and oral examination). The attained objectives of the instruction of rhetoric can be made use of fairly quickly and efficiently in all other school subjects and in life in general. B Pupils become qualified to analyse oral/written texts made by other people as well as to produce their own oral/written texts (with precise purpose), thereby learning the differences and similarities between the rhetoric of the spoken word and the rhetoric of the written word. Pupils therefore pay special attention to the development of the basic communication skills of listening and speaking, and reading and writing, in different speech situations. They develop the skill of independent and selfconfident oral presentation, the ability of clear, logical and convincing presentation of thought, and the ability of receiving and understanding a message and its analysis and assessment. In developing communication skill pupils put special emphasis on the formation of a feeling for the pragmatic dimension of language. Pupils learn that linguistic and social environments are tightly interwoven and reflected in the text. This is why they develop the skill of communication adequate to the circumstances and the addressee they are trying to attract. In parallel, pupils learn the abstract system of rhetorical means and the structure of texts. They use basic concepts, recognise phenomena in texts and/or know how to demonstrate them independently. C The instruction of rhetoric follows the following steps: 1. Pupils recognise from experience that rhetoric is a useful skill which is useful in everyday life. 2. Pupils recognise from everyday speech situations the principles/rules and virtues of a good dialogue and try to realise them. 3. Pupils learn that argument and its characteristics are the key elements of a dialogue and they distinguish argumentation from persuasion. 4. Pupils learn rhetorical technique and the components of a well-formed speech. 5. Pupils learn that they are part of the communication chain − as speakers/writers, or listeners/readers − and that in both roles they help to form a successful or unsuccessful speech. 6. Pupils learn the historic framework of rhetoric, its origins and development (not compulsory). D The choice of teaching form depends on the tasks and activities realised in class. The instruction is from the front of class (ex cathedra) when the teacher gives an introduction of a new learning topic or when pupils listen to and/or look at the speaker (radio or TV or fellow pupils). The instruction is individual when pupils do the exercises individually (text analysis and writing). The most frequently realised form of instruction in rhetoric should be group work, with which it is possible to implement active learning and the transfer of theory into practice (role changing in dialogue, third persons as observers and the principles of co-operation in dialogue, argumentation and persuasion). The use of modern electronic media (computers and the WWW) in the instruction of rhetoric is welcome. E Assessment in the instruction in rhetoric Pupils get two marks in an academic year for an independent oral presentation on a given topic or with a set purpose (target), and one for the analysis of a speech; all three are awarded on the basis of all rhetorical aspects.
F Cross-curricular connections The strongest links are with Slovene and philosophy. It is necessary for the instruction of rhetoric that pupils have already developed their linguistic abilities, i.e. they have sufficient vocabulary, grammatical, speech and orthographic abilities, that they can correct mistakes, and that they are capable of abstract thinking and analysis. G Selected topics and demonstrative examples Theory in the instruction of rhetoric is demonstrated only by a few selected texts which − always in a different light − are repeated from topic to topic. It is therefore up to the teacher to make a selection of written or recorded speeches of literary characters and media personalities. 5. Catalogue of Performance Basic and Minimal Performance Standards Understanding What Rhetoric Is 1. A pupil listens to, watches or reads a text and: • determines whether the text is from the field of art, science or rhetoric; • names at least some textual and non-textual elements on the basis of which the text can be classified in the field of art/science/rhetoric. 2. A pupil listens to, watches or reads a rhetorical text and: • determines the statement/point-of-view that the text and its presentation try to refute; • makes a judgement as to whether the text and the total rhetorical presentation achieve their intention with regard to persuasion as well as refutation; • evaluates the effect of the text and the total rhetorical presentation on different types of addressees and argues his/her judgement using characteristics of the text and the total rhetorical presentation; • formulates a speech in favour of the perspectives of the set text or disproves these; • makes an outline of his/her speech and the chosen manner of presentation; • adapts his/her speech for different types of audience. The Ethics of Dialogue 3. A pupil listens to, watches or reads a rhetorical text and: • determines perspectives represented by two speakers in conversation and recognises ways and steps in which they communicate their perspectives to each other; • recognises what speakers communicate to each other indirectly or on the level of preuppositions; distinguishes between the literal level and other ways of communication present in conversation (presupposition, implication (implicature), insinuation, indirect answer, avoidance, suggestion, etc); • describes the communication situation of a conversation; outlines the changes in the situation which occur during the conversation; recognises at least some elements which bring about these changes. 4. Two pupils lead a dialogue on a given subject and during the dialogue: • change the manner of communication with regard to the attitude towards the addressee (subordination/domination, politeness/formality/informality); • communicate the same message to a addressee directly and indirectly; in indirect communication they experiment with different methods; • determine (name) at least some of the procedures they used. Persuasion and Argumentation 5. A pupil argues for or against given perspective and:
judges the efficiency of the argumentation with fellow pupils; recognises at least some of the procedures which make a speech effective or ineffective.
6. A pupil checks the validity of the statement “It is as possible to argue for each perspective as it is possible to argue against each and every one” by: • arguing for or against a statement set by someone else; • choosing and at least in part determining procedures suitable for arguing or disproving; • making an evaluation of the whole presentation of the speech with fellow pupils and arguing the evaluation. 7. A pupil watches, listens to or reads a speech and: • judges its efficiency; determines at least some of the procedures of the speech and its total presentation; evaluates the adequacy and efficiency of the procedures used. Composing Convincing Communication Units 8. A pupil reads, watches or listens to an arbitrary communication event and: • determines the type of event; recognises and at least in part determines the lines which help to determine the type of event; • comments on the conduct of participants of the event using the technical vocabulary of rhetoric; • evaluates the conduct of the participants and argues his/her judgement using the technical vocabulary of rhetoric. 9. A pupil composes a speech of his/her choice and: • determines the type, intention, style, etc. of his/her speech; determines perspectives argued for in the speech; determines procedures he/she uses; gives a technical argumentation of the composition; • answers the evaluation of his/her speech and the total presentation using the technical vocabulary of rhetoric. 6. Appendix Teacher Qualifications The compulsory elective subject rhetoric can be taught by any person who meets the following conditions/standards (apart from the standards required by law):
(a) has (as a rule) a degree from one of the following two-subject university courses: Slovene, philosophy,
communication studies, journalism, sociology, dramaturgy, comparative literature, foreign language with literature and history; (b) successfully finishes in-service training for acquisition of the knowledge necessary for teaching the compulsory elective course rhetoric. Since rhetoric is a new subject in the new nine-year elementary school and training for its instruction is not carried out by any Slovene university, successful completion of in-service training is the first and necessary condition for its instruction.