Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring a critical and connected approach to communication pedagogy: A teacher-research investigation
by Walton, Justin Duane, Ph.D., The University of Oklahoma, 2008, 222; 3304448
Abstract (Summary)

As cultures and societies become progressively more interdependent, it is imperative that citizens develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of the fundamental interconnectedness underpinning our experiences, problems, and common interests. Unfortunately, many contemporary practices in higher education continue to perpetuate mechanistic views and tendencies that reinforce a fragmented understanding of life and reality. The goal of this critical teacher-research investigation was to examine students' responses to my efforts to teach a college communication course utilizing a critical and systemic pedagogical framework. A qualitative methodology and interpretive framework were used to study the experiences and perspectives of 28 college students enrolled in an introductory small group communication course. Primary methods of data collection involved in-depth interviews, ethnographic observations, and student assignments. The findings suggested that although many students (a) misunderstood my instructional aims and expectations, and (b) resisted my communication pedagogy, several (c) experienced meaningful personal growth and critical consciousness as a result of the approach. In light of these findings, it is recommended that communication teachers concerned with critical and systemic purposes of education (a) continually emphasize and integrate themes of relationship into classroom learning experiences, (b) explicate and negotiate dissonance as a means of promoting complex understandings, and (c) sustain opportunities for critical holistic consciousness and growth through substantive class interactions and critical dialogue. I conclude that it is important to critique mechanistic approaches to both communication education and life in order to prepare citizens for more connected ways of communicating, learning, and relating within an increasingly diverse and interrelated world.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Houser, Neil O.
Commitee:
School: The University of Oklahoma
Department: Department of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum
School Location: United States -- Oklahoma
Source: DAI-A 69/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational sociology, Communication, Curriculum development
Keywords: Communication education, Communication pedagogy, Critical pedagogy, Small group communication, Systems theory
Publication Number: 3304448
ISBN: 9780549536994
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