ERIC Number: ED415552
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
An Experiential Approach to Teaching Communication Theory: Incorporating Contemporary Media To Clarify Theoretical Concepts.
Lamoureux, Elizabeth R.
For professors who have been assigned the task of teaching communication theory, carefully chosen examples of films, videos, TV clips, or music can be productively used to support instruction. Both research and experience have shown that the visual and aural channels are excellent forms of amplifying, clarifying, and justifying theoretical concepts. For example, after discussing the basic concepts, to highlight social exchange theory, play Pearl Jam's "Better Man" and REM's "Losing My Religion"--students can accurately make the application. For cognitive dissonance theory, a short clip from "Friends" which deals with celebrating Ross' birthday and lack of funds from three of the friends is an ideal exemplar of the theory. A unit on the narrative paradigm lends itself to using examples from a variety of musical genres, from country to hard rock to rap. The concepts associated with Watzlawick's interactional view can be seen in the 1994 film, "When a Man Loves a Woman." Uncertainty reduction theory is viewed by many students as among the most applicable--the very uncertainty of enrolling in the university, living away from home, selecting a major, etc. provide a rich foundation under which students come to understand this theory. (Contains 27 references, an informational appendix, a table of available films and topics illustrated, and a list of feature films that illustrate communication theory). (NKA)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A