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A goodly number of us are "only" teaching-practitioners in the field of communication ethics. To use the word "only" in this context is not meant to depreciate the worth of the classroom teacher, nor to suggest a separation between the theorist and the practitioner, but rather to identify where many of us, for one reason or another, focus the bulk of our time and energy, Because few of us in the profession take the time to concentrate on this particular scholarly activity, and because few of us are assigned to teach only a Communication Ethics course, we who teach the subject must rely heavily on the scattered scholars who do make major contributions to our discipline as published theorists in communication ethics, However, as we choose texts and gather materials for teaching such a course, we are somewhat limited in what we find, especially compared with other subjects in speech communication. Most of what we do find, and probably justifiably so,, is course content. Very little is said about the approach to teaching a course (or unit) on communication ethics. It is to this end that I write this paper, and not as an expert in pedagogy, but rather as one speech communication generalist who has long been interested in the subject of ethics in communicative behavior and who has had some positive feedback from both students and colleagues on his approach to the teaching of it. Though my primary concern is for the separately designed and taught course in Communication Ethics, what is written here is also applicable to units on ethics taught in other speech communication courses.


This paper was written as part of the program: "Communication Ethics Instruction: Can Ethics be Communicated?" for the 74th Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association at New Orleans, Louisiana, November 3-6, 1988.



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