Civic engagement in the public speaking classroom

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2011-01-01
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Wiegers, Julia
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Amy Slagell
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English

The Department of English seeks to provide all university students with the skills of effective communication and critical thinking, as well as imparting knowledge of literature, creative writing, linguistics, speech and technical communication to students within and outside of the department.

History
The Department of English and Speech was formed in 1939 from the merger of the Department of English and the Department of Public Speaking. In 1971 its name changed to the Department of English.

Dates of Existence
1939-present

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  • Department of English and Speech (1939-1971)

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Abstract

The purpose of this research was to identify actionable strategies from current civic engagement literature in the fields of institutional citizenship, service learning, and deliberative democracy as well as practices from the ancient rhetorical tradition that could be used to foster civic engagement in a public speaking classroom. The author has an interest in civic engagement and has been a public speaking instructor at Iowa State University. Research findings identified strategies from current literature to establish a classroom citizenship, connect coursework with the community, advance active participation, facilitate deliberation, and to use peer critiques and reflection tools to promote civic-minded thinking. Elements identified from the ancient rhetorical tradition include the concept of phronesis, practical wisdom, and structured workshops that build upon one another similar to the ways of the ancient pedagogy of the progymnasmata. A series of structured workshops designed to focus on social, civic, and ethical issues from a civic perspective is recommended for public speaking instructors who would like to foster civic engagement in their classrooms.

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Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2011