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ERIC Number: ED393129
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Centrality in Research and Teaching: Some New Directions for the Basic Speech Course.
Matula, Theodore
The reduction of communication "fundamentals" to depoliticized, atheoretical skills in public speaking contradicts recent challenges to rhetoric, such as critical rhetoric, aesthetic rhetoric, and ritual communication. Consequently, teaching in the basic course and university research contradict each other, presenting an image of a confused and inconsistent discipline. A renewed emphasis on communication as ritual provides a central focus that unites research and the teaching of the basic course. The two approaches to teaching basic speech courses are defined as the dominant one, or the outcome paradigm, and the propositional one, or the ritual/process approach. Outcome implies communication as transmission: messages are "sent" by speakers to audience "receivers." Evaluation in the outcome paradigm emphasizes performance and the content of those messages is only indirectly important. Communication as transmission means information processing. Communication as ritual means maintaining and transforming reality. Although the two co-exist, the transmission view dominates. In ritual communication, the symbolic negotiation and struggle over what is reality is constructed, maintained, repaired, and transformed. Viewing the speech event as a part of an ongoing process creates an awareness of the broader context that contains the event. The key difference between the two approaches is the role of the individual in shaping and constructing the material, therefore the reality, as opposed to the discovery of an already constructed reality. Challenges to the basic course are needed to pull together research and teaching so the basic speech course looks more like the discipline that it represents. (CR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Rhetorical Competence; Ritual Communication; Speech Communication Education
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (81st, San Antonio, TX, November 18-21, 1995).