ERIC Number: ED247629
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Theory into Practice: Is Theory of Communication Competence Reflected in Current Textbooks?
Hall, Barbara I.
A study examined 20 beginning college interpersonal or relational communication textbooks to determine the degree to which they dealt with any or all of 10 specific communication competencies. The 10 competencies, targeted from numerous other evaluation systems and scales, are as follows: (1) describing feelings, (2) initiating and maintaining conversation, (3) giving and receiving compliments, (4) clarifying perceptions, (5) requesting behavior change, (6) responding to criticism, (7) paraphrasing, (8) pinpointing and documenting, (9) stating intentions and purpose, and (10) saying "no." It was found that none of the 20 books, including one by the researcher who extrapolated the 10 competencies, taught all the competencies entirely. Some of them seemed to be more thorough than others, but with variations in format or approach to teaching. No one competency was taught in every book. Some books chose to deal with the various relationships in life while others did not. Possibly the nonaccessibility of competencies makes them difficult to assess, and those texts that give the most attention to the competencies may not be chosen for that reason, but rather on the basis of other features, such as philosophy or format or style. The results suggest that perhaps textbooks should be written with competency testing as a goal, or perhaps competency testing of communication skills should be eliminated. (A chart rating each textbook for each competency, as well as a bibliography of the 20 texts are included.) (HTH)
Descriptors: Communication Research, Communication Skills, Communication (Thought Transfer), Comparative Analysis, Evaluation Criteria, Higher Education, Interpersonal Communication, Minimum Competencies, Minimum Competency Testing, Skill Development, Speech Communication, Speech Instruction, Textbook Evaluation, Textbooks
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Theory Practice Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Chicago, IL, April 12-14, 1984).