Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Perhaps the first justification for the inclusion of speech in today’s curriculum is the very evident predominance of oral communication in our lives. Painter has pointed out that “oral communication is the vehicle for 90 percent of the exchange of ideas.”

A second justification for the belief that speech education is important today lies in the fact that our country is a democracy. Democracy is essentially a government by talk, a government in which problems are not settled by force, but in which problems are talked out of existence or into solution. Long ago Aristotle identified communication with political freedom under law and with sound ethics. “Communication is for the preservation and progress of a free society and for a good society.” The schools of the United States have an obligation to train their students in a thorough understanding of democratic principles and ideals.

A third justification for speech education lies in the statement, “Speech makes the man; speech is the man.” Speech reflects the increasing stature of an effective individual. Speech education contributes to the two basic aims of all education: self-realization of the individual and social adjustment of the individual. Frequently interpersonal relationships are ineffective because people cannot or will not communicate clearly.

This study is a research project attempting to ascertain the status of speech education in the public high schools of the State of California in the spring semester of 1954. It is hoped that the data herein presented will prove of value both to students who are preparing to teach speech and to teacher training departments. The opening chapter attempts to establish the importance of speech in education both through a brief historical record of the existence of speech in education and through four justifications for its inclusion in today’s curriculum.





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