ERIC Number: EJ888845
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jul
Reference Count: 0
The Communication Field in the Last 70 Years: Orienting Students to Our Recent Past and Present
Heisler, Jennifer M.
Communication Teacher, v19 n3 p93-97 Jul 2005
This activity is designed as a brief, two-part assignment that students should complete outside of the class period before engaging in class discussion. Because this activity is an overview of the field, it works best if assigned early in the semester. The class periods immediately prior to the assignment should give students a basic orientation to the communication field, such as definitions ("What is communication?") or descriptions of the different areas (e.g., interpersonal, mass media). The first part of the activity has students completing a handout with questions focusing on the development of the field, focusing students' attention on the last 70 years. This overview begins with communication's separation from English departments (circa 1913) extending through the present and the discipline's national organization. Since this activity is guided by current "identity issues" (e.g., "What makes communication different from other disciplines, and how does the present day configuration of college/university departments reflect this?"), the assignment does not extend into the early history of the field, such as Aristotle. Instead, students focus on describing the recent past and the development of the field's national identity. A list of references and suggested readings is included.
Descriptors: Discussion (Teaching Technique), Assignments, Educational Development, Communication (Thought Transfer), Class Activities, Interpersonal Communication, Teaching Models, Instructional Design, Educational History
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A