Let’s Require Public Speaking

From the National Association of Scholars’ 100 Great Ideas
for Higher Education
 

It would be great and interesting for all
concerned if every college student had to present a one-hour talk on some topic
on which he had recently done research and written a substantial paper. Too few
college students–if any other than the salutatorian and the valedictorian–ever
stand and say something academic to an audience.

Those invited to such presentations should include the faculty in the
department of the topic covered in the talk, the presenter’s fellow students
and friends, as well as other interested persons, including members of the
general population of the town or city where the college or university is
planted.

Attending such a presentation would be time-consuming, of course, and the
faculty audience might be limited to adjuncts and those with lighter research
and consulting schedules. But having to read their words face-to-face to
careful listeners would lead students to think longer and with greater care
about what they write.

Will Fitzhugh

Will Fitzhugh is the founder and editor of The Concord Review.

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