Course Outline and Requirements

Method of Lecturing


Method of Lecturing in the Liberal Arts Prescribed; Paris, December 10, 1355.

In the name of the Lord, amen. Two methods of lecturing on books in the liberal arts having been tried, the former masters of philosophy uttering their words rapidly so that the mind of the hearer can take them in but the hand cannot keep up with them, the latter speaking slowly until their listeners can catch up with them with the pen; having compared these by diligent examination, the former method is found the better. Wherefore, the consensus of opinion warns us that we imitate it in our lectures. We therefore, all and each, masters of the faculty of arts, teaching and not teaching, convoked for this specially by the venerable man, master Albert of Bohemia, then rector of the university, at St. Julien-le-Pauvre, have decreed in the wise, that all lecturers, whether masters or scholars of the same faculty, whenever and wherever they chance to lecture on any text ordinarily or cursorily in the same faculty, or to dispute any question concerning it, or anything else by way of exposition, shall observe the former method of lecturing to the best of their ability, so speaking forsooth as if no one was taking notes before them." 3

The instructor adheres to the policy stated above. Students are advised to prepare for class in advance and to note only the main points of the class lecture and/or discussion in their notebooks. The contact hours provide reflections on the readings and food for thought and are not intended to transfer information to be memorized and given back on an exam.

Herman Shapiro (ed.), Medieval Philosophy: Selected Readings from Augustine to Buridan (New York: The Modern Library, 1964), pp. 250-51.
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