ERIC Number: ED344255
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov-2
Reference Count: N/A
Rethinking the Formula: Suggestions for Improving Basic Course Texts.
There are three arguments against the usefulness of present basic course textbooks in speech communication. First, there are certain inherent forces that will always drive textbook publishers toward the production of textbooks unsuitable for the basic course: "mentioning" (mentioning every principle ever heard of by potential users of the text), "dumbing down" (keeping content simple), "homogenizing" (eliminating any material which might offend), and "shilling" (the planned obsolescence of textbooks built into the present system). Second, basic texts are not reflective of the new audiences to be taught: minorities and the poor. Some of the communication channels left out of basic texts but used by minorities and the poor include: the extended family, minimum-wage workplaces, the ethnic or pentecostal church, labor unions, self-help associations, neighborhood taverns and dance halls, and amateur sporting teams. If students find racial or class barriers confronting them at every turn, or are having difficulty confronting their sexuality, or cannot see the relevance of so much college teaching because they are the first generation of their family to seek a higher education, then the content of current basic texts is a mockery of their deepest needs. Third, two sources of information provide appropriate materials: students themselves, and expert practitioners in the field. Putting students and practitioners together might result in appropriate texts, different for every student, prepared with word processor and xerox machine--self-made texts, undergoing constant revision, with no connection to the commercial publishing business. (SR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Speech Communication Education
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (77th, Atlanta, GA, October 31-November 3, 1991).