Lectures, learning, leadership, LOs LO19763

Steve Eskow (seskow@durand.com)
Fri, 6 Nov 1998 12:59:18 -0700

There is a criticism of the college and the church that is so "taken for
granted" in forums such as this that it is difficult to challenge.

The critique maintains that the lecture and the sermon are obsolete forms
of communication that do not belong in a "learning organization."

"The sage on stage," the critique goes, should be replaced by the
"facilitator," the "guide by the side."

Why do the lecture and the sermon persist?

The answer as well as the critique are predictable: they endure because
of. . .

"Resistance to change."

Here is another possibility.

The lecture and the sermon persist because when they are properly executed
they are powerful tools of instruction and learning.


A "discipline" is a "community of discourse": a way of looking at the
world through the lens of a specialized rhetoric, a vocabulary.

The vocabulary may include terms like "culture," "class," "caste,"; or
"debit and credit"; or "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."

A good lecture is a demonstration by a skilled practitioner of how the
terms of the discourse are used to make meaning, to construct a world
through the language, to solve a problem with the terms.

And the good prof follows with opportunities for his apprentices to
practice using the language in their writing and speaking.

We have here with us almost every day a skilled lecturer who weaves long
his own vocabulary and linguistic constructions and beliefs into long and
carefully constructed structures.

At's messages here are long lectures.

And his lectures have won him applause here, and a following.

That is why the lecture outlives its critics.

I'd appreciate thoughts on this.

Steve Eskow



Steve Eskow <seskow@durand.com>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <rkarash@karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>