ERIC Number: ED250745
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Teaching Nonverbal Communication from a Humanities Perspective.
Jensen, Marvin D.
Perspectives: The Journal of the Association for General and Liberal Studies, v14 n1 p13-16 Win 1984
The amorphous nature of nonverbal study can benefit from the unifying yet pluralistic perspective of the humanities and liberal arts. Those who teach, write, and create under the broad rubric of the humanities appreciate the complexity of human life and try to honor the subtle and the special in human actions and creations. When addressed from this perspective, nonverbal behaviors can be seen as clues to individual complexity rather than as descriptors that can be "read." When guided by a humanities perspective, a student of nonverbal behavior can learn that the only label which accurately describes any person is complex. By avoiding generalizations and honoring individual complexities, a student can go beyond hasty certainties and achieve cautious awareness. When approached from a humanities perspective, the study of nonverbal communication can also enhance the ability to pause, choose a response, and achieve freedom from external stimuli. By encouraging the awareness that allows choice, the study of nonverbal patterns can further the arts of freedom--and thus serve the best tradition of the humanities. Consciousness of nonverbal patterns can also increase cross-cultural understanding. In addition, the application of research into nonverbal processes can enhance the quality of human life. At best, a humanities perspective can help a student respect the symbols and extensions of individual lives. (HOD)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A