ERIC Number: ED415557
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Senior Capstone, Dome or Spire?
Heinemann, Robert L.
This paper examines a basic philosophical issue involved with the purpose of a senior capstone communication course required of all majors. The issue involves two opposites: closure, represented by the dome, and further exploration, represented by the spire. Both approaches have legitimate claims for a capstone course. There is definitely a need for students to be able to pull together ideas presented in different courses and construct some sort of integrated, meaningful whole. No other single course is traditionally involved in this specific purpose, with the possible exception of communication theory. This "tying together" process only serves to make sense of the discipline, but also serves as a path to ownership of the major. Yet the college major is not, and should not be, the end of intellectual growth. To some degree each student must be equipped and readied to launch out into new endeavors, using the college learning experience as a base. Learning is often said to raise more questions than it answers, and these questions will multiply as the graduate moves out from the academy. If people are forced to chose between closure or further exploration, perhaps the answer is dependent on the curricular configuration of each major program. (Contains 36 references.) (Author/CR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Communication Association (83rd, Chicago, IL, November 19-23, 1997).