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ERIC Number: EJ911548
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-1740-4622
Modeling and Performing Relational Theories in the Classroom
Suter, Elizabeth A.; West, Carrie L.
Communication Teacher, v25 n1 p37-41 Jan 2011
Although directly related to students' everyday lives, the abstract and even intimidating nature of relational theories often bars students from recognizing the immediate relevance to their relationships. The theories of symbolic interactionism, social exchange, relational dialectics, social penetration, and uncertainty reduction offer students five different perspectives to examine and make sense of often confusing lived experiences with roommates, romantic partners, friends, and family members. This performative activity seeks to redress the disconnect between theory and experience. Given that learning about relationships occurs in the laboratory of everyday life, it follows that the most effective teaching methods for teaching theories about relationships would reflect this environment via active and embodied learning. This performative activity also seeks to redress student difficulties in retention and application of relational theories. Theoretical connection, retention, and application are crucial to student success, and all are influenced by active teaching methodologies and classroom environments that sustain student motivation. This activity is designed to replace a traditional lecture for introducing relational theories to students. After an initial overview, students are tasked with arriving at their own interpretation of an assigned theory and demonstrating that theory through construction of a three-dimensional model or representation and a dramatic performance or role-play. Students engage in theory first through discussion, then through construction of a model, and conclude with a performance for the class. A list of references and suggested readings is included. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A