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systematic, consecutive presentation of instructional material, or some issue, theme, section, subject, or methods of science. There are academic lectures and public lectures. The academic lecture is one of the principal forms of the instructional process and one of the main teaching methods in higher educational institutions. In the higher educational institutions of the USSR, 50–60 percent of the teaching time in the humanities specialties and 40–50 percent in the technical and agricultural specialties is allocated to lectures.
Lectures acquired the character of an oral presentation of an academic course (usually in Latin) in 18th-century universities (in medieval universities, the lecture consisted of the instructor’s reading and commenting on the text of a given book). A systematic lecture course in which material is presented consecutively according to a curriculum includes introductory, orientation (in the correspondence and evening educational systems), ordinary, survey, and concluding lectures. Lectures are used in the secondary special and vocational and technical educational systems, in course teaching, in the higher classes of general education secondary schools, and in the political education system. Public lectures, occasional and cyclical, are one of the main forms of propaganda and dissemination of political and scientific knowledge in the system of cultural and educational work.
The main requirements for lectures are scholarly approach; ideological content; accessibility; unity of form and content; stimulating presentation; and organic connection with other forms of study, such as seminars, laboratory work, and training and industrial practice. Of particular importance are lectures that make use of the visual (film or television) demonstration of imperceptible physical, chemical, and biological processes. Lectures have been broadcast on radio and television since the 1950’s. Certain higher educational institutions publish the lecture courses of their leading professors; these publications are used in the educational process along with textbooks and teaching aids.