Core Curriculum Outcomes: Discrepant Beliefs about the Field

By Brock, Sharon S. | Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, Spring 1996 | Go to article overview

Core Curriculum Outcomes: Discrepant Beliefs about the Field


Brock, Sharon S., Journalism & Mass Communication Educator


When disciplines perceived as contributing to the mission of their liberal arts college are reinforced and those regarded as "non-central" are eliminated, merged, or subsumed into a more "contributing" discipline, faculty in the negatively targeted fields may be prompted to inform their university colleagues about the importance of the theories and skills of their discipline. As part of such an effort, they may point to knowledge that is special to their discipline and, at the same time, crucial to other currently more favored disciplines.

What knowledge, beyond technical skills, is the special province of journalism and mass communication?(1)

The present survey examined selected beliefs to probe whether a journalism and mass communication curriculum instilled a more sophisticated view of media reality in formal coursework for majors than for non-majors who learn about the media from daily experience. The goal was to use this information to initiate a fruitful discussion, which might culminate in consensus(2) about the core understandings that could distinguish a person who has received a mass communication education. Such a core could then be offered as a vital component of a comprehensive university to colleagues and administrators.

Since 1984, national studies and gatherings (e.g., Oregon Report, 1987; Stark and Lowther, 1988; Wingspread Project, 1989; Blanchard and Christ, 1993; State of the Field, 1994; What Makes a Great Journalism School, 1995) have explored the domain of journalism and mass communication education. However, these books, reports, and conferences, while continuing to generate discussion about new paradigms for curricular development and the role of mass communication education in changing university cultures, have failed to define the current baseline.

To establish a baseline, consensus about the basic concepts of mass communication education is necessary. However, the effort to reach consensus for even a modest list of belief statements for this exploratory study emphatically reinforced what Blanchard and Christ (1993, p.92) discovered in their 1990 national survey: Across the country there is "great diversity in the number of required core courses in journalism and mass communication programs and no pattern."

A review of core courses would have been another way to assess faculty philosophy and to demonstrate what a school believes is basic and fundamental to the discipline (Blanchard and Christ, 1993, p. 92). However, after two years of surveys and discussion, even the Oregon Report (1987) suggested only broad-based communication competencies--general literacy, visual literacy, computer literacy, information-gathering ability, media-writing capability--not specific outcomes. At the University of Michigan, the two-year Professional Preparation Network (Stark and Lowther, 1988) also recommended general competencies that overlap or expand the Oregon Report. Scanning the course titles in a curriculum, or examining syllabi for these courses, did not reveal outcomes of interest here, the actual mass communication-related understandings of graduating seniors, and the fit of these understandings to those of their instructors.

The Professional Preparation Network (Stark and Lowther, 1988, p. 23) concluded that journalism educators should expect students to learn to identify, understand, and critique the media's values in courses common to mass communication programs across the country. Despite different emphases at different institutions, mass communication majors should learn media value systems in ethics courses, restrictions and regulation in law courses, impact of the media in media and society courses, leadership in management, internship and capstone courses, and "scholarly concern for improvement" in research and communication theory courses (Christ and McCall, 1974).

Mass communication programs have been admonished to distinguish themselves nationally, and to contribute to their local campuses through "the promotion of media literacy and the fostering of freedom of expression" (Oregon Report, p. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Core Curriculum Outcomes: Discrepant Beliefs about the Field
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.