(Grand Prairie, TX, U.S.A)
Paideia is a situation where people from various backgrounds comes together and share stories to educate. By sharing stories, they enrich one another's lives. That's what public speaking should always be about. When I was taking public speaking in college, I had a speech instructor who wanted to stay away from speech topics that would cause a stir and possibly upset people. She was strict on what we could talk about and what we could not talk about in class. The first speech assignment was to share with the class "Who Am I Really?" I liked that topic very much because we were allowed to talk about anything that pleased us. For me, it was exciting to learn about Buddhism, karate, politics, military women, etc. Ours was a class of diversity, so there were many new stories to learn from. Everyone gave their speech, then the instructor asked the whole class what they liked and disliked about the speakers' presentations. As it turned out, the majority of the class really enjoyed the learning experience, were very open minded, and were not offended by the topics or speakers. On the other hand, what the instructor had in mind was appeasement. Eyes started to fall to the floor when she told the students straight off that she did not recommend they talk about politics or religion in the future. To this day I disagree with her. College students should be treated as adults with new opportunities to learn, think, and voice opinions. That is the only ways pupils can grow into intelligent and responsible individuals.
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