Burke, Michael (2013): Rhetorical Pedagogy: Shaping an Intellectually Critical Citizenry

Rhetorical Pedagogy: Shaping an Intellectually Critical Citizenry

In this inaugural lecture I will put forward the contention that the pedagogy of ancient rhetoric
has much to offer contemporary teaching and learning and that as such a ‘rediscovery of
rhetoric’ should take place, particularly among those colleagues working in academe who are
committed to improving their teaching methods and their students’ learning practices.1 A
systematic understanding of classical rhetoric will allow contemporary educators to discover
the many rhetorical means of learning available and in doing so add considerably to the
contemporary teaching and learning toolkit, and in particular to the toolkit of critical thinking,
critical writing and critical speaking. What is needed is a conscious, systematic deployment of
some of these ancient rhetorical methods of learning, not a subconscious and arbitrary
approach, as now appears to be principally the case. Logically, some of these ancient methods
will be obsolete, and others will need significant modification in order for them to meet the
demands of our technological and digital age, but there is a wealth of learning methods and
frameworks out there; tried and tested models used in the grammar schools, the rhetoric
schools and the universities of Europe from antiquity right up to the nineteenth century. I…

Oratie BURKE (1)