Steven A. Beebe Southwest Texas State University
Educators trace the roots of the of the communication discipline to ancient Greeceand before. The study of rhetoric -- included in the trivium and quadrivium -- has been a foundation of the educational curriculum of European universities for centuries. It is only during the past 100 years, however, that speech communication has become an entrenched discipline in higher education. In the early part of the 20th century, speech instruction as a distinct curricula was found almost exclusively in the United States,evolving from instruction in elocution and English ( Cohen, 1994; Wallace, 1954). Notwithstanding its U.S. origin and evolution, several surveys document the expansion of speech communication instruction throughout the world. There is evi- dence that speech communication instruction is present in some form on every continent ( Beebe, Kharcheva, & Kharcheva, 1996; Berry, 1961; Dewine, 1995; Ekachai, 1994; Engleberg, 1988; Flordo, 1989; Greenberg & Lau, 1990; Hadwiger, Smith & Geissner, 1972; Hewitt & Inghilleri, 1993; Irwin, 1992; Irwin, Galvin, & Nightingale, 1986; Jellicorse, 1994; James, 1990; Oliver, 1956a, 1956b; Rolls, 1992; Scarfe, 1962; UNESCO, 1989; Weitzel, 1990; Wise, 1963; Yonghua, 1988).