ERIC Number: EJ888863
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Fostering Critical Thinking and Teamwork Skills via a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Approach to Public Speaking Fundamentals
Sellnow, Deanna D.; Ahlfeldt, Stephanie L.
Communication Teacher, v19 n1 p33-38 Jan 2005
The professoriate must produce graduates who demonstrate better critical thinking and teamwork skills. More specifically, college graduates appear to know a good deal, but are "unable to apply this knowledge in any useful or practical way." The challenge is to "train students to find new ways of dealing with issues and solving problems." Essentially, today's college graduates must be prepared to function in a world where they will be expected to solve complex problems in innovative ways. One pedagogical approach that can meet the needs for developing critical thinking and teamwork skills is problem-based learning (PBL). PBL presents students with messy, real-life problems and requires them to work in teams to discover as yet unknown solutions to those problems. The instructor guides students to potential resource materials and probes them to question deeply. This article describes the PBL Public Speaking Course which typically focuses on developing speech content, structure, and delivery skills. In this course, students work in teams to prepare speeches focused on real world problems while practicing the skills required for competent public speaking. By the end of the semester, students learn the basics of public speaking, develop teamwork skills, gain a deeper understanding of social issues and problems, and bolster their critical thinking and problem solving skills. As a result, they essentially do a better job of meeting the communication competencies related to organization and delivery, as well as content breadth, depth, and listener relevance. A list of references and suggested readings is included.
Descriptors: World Problems, Public Speaking, Problem Based Learning, College Graduates, Critical Thinking, Resource Materials, Teaching Methods, Teamwork, College Faculty
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A