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ERIC Number: EJ1102974
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0363-4523
FORUM: Instructional Communication and Millennial Students: Teaching Communication to Emerging Adults
Tompkins, Paula S.
Communication Education, v65 n3 p367-369 2016
The new developmental stage of emerging adulthood (age 18-25) offers a framework for thinking about younger millennials in our classrooms. Smith, Christoffersen, Davidson, and Herzog's (2011) profile of emerging adults, based on longitudinal study of over 3200 emerging adults and culminating in 230 in-depth interviews, parallels research of the dark side of interpersonal communication (Spitzberg & Cupach, 2007). It highlights a lack of competent and ethically responsive communication. Particularly disturbing is the role of public schools in creating this situation, as teachers sidestepped discussions of difficult issues or controversies in a manner more typical of dysfunctional families (Smith et al., 2011). While understandable in teaching academically, socially, and racially diverse students to perform well on standardized tests, this pedagogical strategy does not teach skills needed to recognize and think critically about difficult and divisive issues or to articulate thoughts and have them examined by others to identify strengths and weaknesses in thinking. Communication ethics pedagogy offers a theoretically rigorous response to these challenges, taking seriously the claim that communication constitutes the worlds in which communicators live--to live in a more ethical world society must promote ethically mindful communication (Ballard et al., 2014). Acknowledgment and ethically responsive listening are also important practices of dialogic communication (see special issue on the ethics of listening, The International Journal of Listening, 2009). This essay accentuates the need for instructional research across multiple courses to build scaffolding for developing communication competence, moral imagination, and ethical responsiveness. [For the other essays in this forum: (1) FORUM: Instructional Communication and Millennial Students: Scripting Knowledge and Experiences for Millennial Students (Angela M. Hosek, Scott Titsworth, EJ1102964); (2) FORUM: Instructional Communication and Millennial Students: Hoverboards and "Hovermoms": Helicopter Parents and Their Influence on Millennial Students' Rapport with Instructors (T. Kody Frey and Nicholas T. Tatum, EJ1102970); (3) FORUM: Instructional Communication and Millennial Students: "Me"llennials and the Paralysis of Choice: Reigniting the Purpose of Higher Education (Marjorie M. Buckner and Michael G. Strawser, EJ1102967 ); (4) FORUM: Instructional Communication and Millennial Students: Managing Imposter Syndrome among the "Trophy Kids": Creating Teaching Practices that Develop Independence in Millennial Students (Kirstie McAllum, EJ1102980); and (5) FORUM: Instructional Communication and Millennial Students: Millennial Students in the College Classroom: Adjusting to Academic Entitlement (Zachary W. Goldman and Matthew M. Martin, EJ1102950). Responses include: (1) FORUM: Instructional Communication and Millennial Students: Millennials, Teaching and Learning, and the Elephant in the College Classroom (Sherwyn P. Morreale and Constance M. Staley, EJ1102955); and (2) FORUM: Instructional Communication and Millennial Students: The Power of Language: A Constitutive Response to Millennial Student Research (Kyle C. Rudick and Scott Ellison, EJ1102961).]
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Collected Works - General
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A