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November 1963

On Lecturing

Author Affiliations

Department of Internal Medicine of the College of Medicine of the State University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(5):637-639. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860050051001

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A never failing topic for discussion among teachers in the more advanced phases of learning in high school, college, and university is the recurring argument for and against lecturing. It is a substantial theme. Proponents and opponents have fought this merry battle for a vast number of years. Buddha wrote no book and published no lectures, but his disciples soon collected them for posterity, much as the early Christians collected Christ's teachings. When the great Plotinus in the Third Century, having spent ten years of his life sitting at the feet of the leading lecturers of his time, had become a famous teacher, he refused to allow his words to be written. With Christ, Buddha, Aristotle, and Socrates he believed that the right way of communicating the truth was oral. His disciples tell us that he would let his listners interrupt the thread of his discourse by asking questions and

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