ERIC Number: ED202748
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Effective Communication for Guiding Practitioners: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives.
Harris, Ilene B.
This paper discusses how to write effective curriculum documents--teacher's guides, courses of study, program descriptions, how-to-books, or other formal curriculum statements. It is intended to provide guidance for teachers in presenting practical, relevant ideas. Communications for guiding teachers is a fundamentally important task within several contexts including the training of new teachers and the implementation of new ideas and programs. However, no way has been found to record and crystallize teaching for the benefit of beginners. Likewise, there have been many problems in getting teachers to implement new ideas and programs. There are many forms of communication for articulating practices and guiding teachers. One of the most powerful is written communication. Guides to educational practice must communicate conceptions of practice and strategies for implementing the conceptions in light of the known complexities of school and classroom life. The author does emphasize, however, that written communication can only be a starting point for the improvement of practice and should be only one component of programs to improve educational practice. Written guides can help practitioners who are so inclined to begin to generate new practices. Two important issues that affect this communication task are conceptions of educational practice and audience characteristics. Next, the paper analyzes three prevalent forms of curriculum communication--persuasive writing, descriptions of practice, and theory-based prescriptions for practice. Suggestions are offered for the effective use of each of these forms. Written communication can be very effective if the three forms are combined. The paper then discusses topics that must be included in a guide if it is to be effective. Topics include purpose, principle, content and subject matter, and teaching methods. The paper's conclusion contains suggestions for areas of future research. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis. Medical School.
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).