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ERIC Number: ED358490
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Feb
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching and Learning Rhetorical and Communication Theory.
Foss, Karen; Littlejohn, Stephen
Courses in communication theory in the 1990s may emphasize the social sciences, critical theory, or both, depending on the orientation of the professor. The modern field of communication in the United States arose after World War I in response to increasing technology and the progressive, pragmatic philosophy that has dominated American life. Rhetorical theory courses cover the history of rhetorical thinking and contemporary rhetorical thought. Despite their differences in content, the teaching and learning processes in both courses is similar. Approximately four types of theory courses can be found in college programs: basic rhetoric, introduction to communication, historical survey, and contemporary theories. Formats for the courses include: survey of theories, alternative perspectives, integrated concepts, inquiry and theory building, and application and analysis. The teaching of both rhetorical and communication theory involves curricular and content tensions. Curricular tensions relate to the proper place for theory in the curriculum and the proportion of theory and application. The issue of theory versus practice is part of the larger debate on the nature of communication competence. Tensions of a content sort include: the separation of rhetoric and communication into distinct areas; borrowing theories from other disciplines; and the Western male bias of most contemporary theories in communication. Chief among the issues awaiting investigation are: the multicultural agenda; student readiness; methods of teaching abstract concepts; teaching and learning in different campus environments; and integrating rhetorical and communication theory. (Thirty-seven notes are included.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A