Sister disciplines in pedagogical harmony: Oral and written composition techniques merged in the classroom
Doron, Bonne B.
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The purpose of this study was to research the potential rhetorical combination of oral and written discourses in one curriculum, to produce rationale for this project, and to create a fifteen-week syllabus. Rhetoric's historical, theoretical, pedagogical, and cultural spheres were traced from its Greek roots to its contemporary status. Specifically, this research attempted to discover how these two discourses were separated since their classical origins. Specific data of cognition and schema theories, higher-order reasoning, learning styles and teaching modalities, rhetorical considerations in business, culture, and government, computer-mediated communication, and orality-literacy-"secondary orality" theory were examined. Data from rhetoricians, theorists, and practitioners contributing to modern pedagogy theory, rhetoric, and the separation of the two discourses included Walter Ong, Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Ramus, Cicero, Quintilian, Jerome Bruner, Kathleen Welch, and Richard Paul. This data was interpreted as it addressed how rhetoric evolved to its contemporary role, how oral and written discourses separated, and how their union and rhetorical elements have reappeared in computer-mediated communication and have influenced existing writing and speech communication methodologies. In the appendices are a curriculum proposal based upon the Des Moines Area Community College model and other materials used in this study. The indisputable conclusion presented is that the combining of oral and written communications under the umbrella of rhetoric is feasible, appropriate, and advantageous. Not only are rhetoric studies and undergraduate curricula already a central focus at many institutions, but other situations require knowledge of rhetoric and encourage a merging of the two disciplines: a highly rhetorical contemporary culture in private, civic, and professional environments, the need for more opportunities for students to practice critical thinking skills and other complex issues involving rhetorical considerations in computer-mediated communication. The merging of the sister disciplines would move toward solutions to many contemporary issues.