Please provide guidelines for a speech on "the role of schools in peace."

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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eNotes editors are unable to write essays for students, however we can provide guidelines for constructing a speech and supporting your key points with specific facts to make your speech more effective.

First, we know that a speech can be given to be informative or even persuasive. A speech on the history of the space program would be informative, while a speech encourage people to pass legislation for continued funding for the space program would be persuasive in nature. This sounds persuasive, so have information ready to support your stance.

As with any piece of writing, start with an introductory section that provides an overview of what the speech is about, including a succinct thesis statement, so the listener (or reader) is clear about the topic and intent of the speech.

...what do you most want audiences to come away with after hearing you?

A thesis statement should speak to the important role that schools hold in promoting peace. You might make it more specific in suggesting that special and essential programs (such as peer mediation or conflict resolution—which teach youngsters how to resolve issues peacefully), as well as teaching about peacemakers (such as Martin Luther King, Jr.), creates adults who are more likely to practice peace-keeping behaviors when they leave school and move out into the world.

Provide information with regard to how education furthers the cause of peace. For instance, in the second Presidential debate between President Obama and Former Governor Romney, President Obama spoke specifically to the use of high-powered assault rifles outside of a war zone, and suggested that gun control laws, as well as education would help to stop violence in this country. The President said:

But I think that one area we agree on is the important of parents and the importance of schools, because I do believe that if our young people have opportunity, then they are less likely to engage in these kinds of violent acts.

Mr. Romney also pointed to parental involvement.

Saying that education is important is not enough: prove your point. This comes with providing statistics to support your position. People should believe you not just because you say so, but also because there are facts to support your position—making you a credible speaker.

Refer to the rate of violence in the inner cities where education is inadequate because of funding and where poverty drives some uneducated youth to take things by force. Some turn to drugs, and without money to feed the habit, violence becomes a way to pay for the habit. Refer to gangs—groups where young people feel a sense of family and protection. It is a skewed way of looking at things, but it feeds a basic, human need. Offer a testimonial by a former gang member who explains that because he did not have an education, there was little left for him but joining a gang.

Schools cannot only foster the ability to pursue a positive path via education and/or training, but schools can also fight predispositions toward violence in young people who come from families and/or neighborhoods where violence is a norm. Starting with young children to create positive ways to see themselves can promote peace through educational programs in place to guide these youngsters as they grow up in the school environment. 

Above all, as you organize your speech:

Sticking firmly to the topics you’ve introduced will be easier if you create each section like a mini-paper. 


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