Coherent discourse

Although setting, curriculum, and orientation are components of an education, the essential element is coherence. The discourse—the conversations, the observations, the lectures, and the seminars—must be interrelated and marked by a discipline of thought. What is affirmed today cannot be contradicted tomorrow without some explanation. The citizens of the educational community must share standards of observation and interpretation, so that the student moving from teacher to teacher within the community finds similar expectations and similar methods of reasoning from observations. Terms and concepts must have standard meanings and comprehensible limits. It is not just that words such as 'delusion' and 'hallucination' are to be defined; coherence must extend to reasoning, judgement, and argument.

In particular, the differences between an observation and an interpretation, between a cause and an effect, between a symptom and a syndrome must be respected and sustained in the pedagogical dialogue. Only in this way can teachers develop in their students a capacity to follow an argument and defend a position.

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