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Saturday, February 28, 2015


APA Style Sample.

Arthur T. Lynch

Dr. Mark H. Rossman, Ed.D, Faculty Mentor and Chair
Dr. Maxine Rossman, PhD, Committee Member
Dr. Behrooz Sabet, PhD, Committee Member

Barbara Butts Williams, PhD, Dean, School of Education

 DRAFT ONLY: AS OF 6/26/2012
This is protected by copyright, but is not an accepted or published dissertation. It is a draft.

A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements for the Degree
Doctor of Philosophy

Capella University

© Art Lynch, 2012

This dissertation used a phenomenological approach in investigating the development of a grass roots community history based educational outreach and chronicled its development from inception to incorporation into the mission of an established institution. The theoretical basis for the study was Deweyian principles of student centered, experiential learning while supporting a collaborative partnership between school and community, and education’s role in civic engagement and democracy.  These ideas were explored through the lens of a three-legged stool: Public Policy and Purpose, Community Interaction and Identity and Pedagogical Issues. An important characteristic found in successful community programs, no matter the cultural or socioeconomic status of the community, is that they should make use of community members talents and skills, reflect the values of that community in a meaningful way, and come from the community itself, and also make an effort to offer positive improvement, growth, and change. The themes found during the observation of the program might serve as a useful template for other programs, including civic engagement (both organizational, macro level and individual, micro level), meaning (to learners, teachers, and volunteers), experience (experiential learning, experience of participants) hands-on learning, sharing of memories and experience, community relationships), and a sense of identity (in the passing down of memory, teaching of history, and with the individual learning activities of students, as learning is closely connected with identity. These themes provide the fundamentals for how we learn, and participate and grow in our individual and community life.

Click Read More below to continue reading. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Supporting Your Ideas

As you research your topic,
 you'll find information related to your points and ideas. These supporting materials form the substance of your speech. They bring your ideas to life, demonstrate the weight and seriousness of your topic, and help you build credibility. Supporting materials may appeal to your audience's emotions, logic, and cultural beliefs.

It is necessary to bring in the secondary ethos of others to provide additional credibility to your arguments and  to expand your own expertise and knowledge o the subject.

To find out more, and for links and resources, please click "read more" below. 

Communication Model Explained and Basic Concepts Related to the Model

The basics of communication can be found several places on the web. A suggested start is the University of Missouri, one of the top communication schools in the nation.

I. Foundation for School and Life Success
A. Introductions to not only the field, but to college and how to survive and prosper.
B. You must use the college requirements and learn the methods utilized at your school.
C. Notes, outlining, references, testing techniques, etc.
D. Assistance available through student services.
E. Use of computer, Angel, Word, Internet and so on.
F. Use of library, outside references, sources, tools.
G. Basic Research skills for life
H. Organizing thoughts
I. Outlining
J. Presenting your ideas effectively

The Shannon and Weaver model

Shannon and Weaver model

II. Components of a Speech Transaction
A. Situation and Context
B. Speaker / Transmitter / Source
C. Channels / Media
D. Message
E. Symbols / Semantics
F. Encode
G. Decode
H. Feedback
I. Noise / Interference / Screens / Filters
J. Internal Noise
K. External Noise
L. Cultural Noise
M. All three forms of noise are interconnected and interact

N. Semantic Noise is not one of the three forms of noise, it means the signals or symbols of a transmission are not being understood properly due to outside factors (the other three forms of noise)
O. The components of a speech transaction occur simultaneously and are interdependent

P. All communication is transactional, involves a two-way passage of information, emotion, intent.

III. Intro into basic course concepts
A. Communication Model
1. Transmitter,
- Intent of Transmitter,
- What was meant to be communicated
a. Sender,
b. Source
c. Speaker
2. Channel,
3. Medium. Media
4. Message, intended message
5. Receiver,
6. Listener,
7. T2 (not Arnold!)
8. Feedback
9. Encode
10. Decode

11. Codes
a. Verbal,
- Words, actual language, vocabulary
b. Vocal,
- How you say the words, voice, inflection, etc.
c. Visual,
d. - Everything else, see, hear, smell, touch, etc.

12. Proofs,
- How we prove and argument, why we believe things
f. Ethos, Credibility, Power, Likeability, Trust, Source, Expertise, Position
g. Logos, Logic (some variance by culture)
h. Pathos, Emotion, Emotional Appeal
i. Mythos, Cultural, Cultural shorthand, David v. Goliath, Patriotism. Flag, etc.

12. Noise: Screens, \ Filters, Interference, anything that gets in the way of the message

13. Internal Screens,
- Whatever happens inside your mind or body to interfere with understanding the message as intended, or to interfere with transmitting the message in a way that will be understood
- Internal noise is what is occurring inside the transmitter or receiver. For example an event earlier in the day or in the life of the individual could change the way they interpret or send signals. Physical, psychological, cognitive forms of interference may impact how message is encoded or decoded, interpreted or received. Disabilities, health, fatigue, hunger, external events impact on how you feel or think, and unrelated thoughts are examples of internal noise.

14. External Screens
- Whatever happens outside of your mind or body to interfere with understanding the message as intended, or to interfere with transmitting the message in a way that will be understood.
- External noise is what occurred outside of the sender or receive. This could include sound, smell, lighting, temperature, time of day, events occurring at the same time as the message, other messages conflicting or concurrent with the intended message, environment, etc.

15. Cultural Screens
- Differences in culture (including Demographic, Psychographic differences) that interferes with understanding the message as intended.
- Differences in culture interfere with transmitting the message in a way that will be understood.
- Cultural noise comes from the self-identity, backgrounds, beliefs and culture of the sender and/or the receiver.
- Messages can have differing meanings. Protocol, prolific, etc.

16. Semantic Noise, not understanding the words, not understanding the language
- Not one of the three forms of screens or noise, because semantic can cross internal, external and cultural boundaries and it simply means tat symbols (usually words) are not being transmitted or interpreted the same between parties in the communication transaction.

17. Demographics as way of understanding yourself and your audience
a. Age
b. Gender (Sex)
c. Psychographics and Culture
d. Age and Gender are fixed properties
e. Psychographic is everthing else you can measure or put a number to
f. Psychographic differs as is is self-identified, what you volunteer yourself as

B. The Communication Process
1. Speaker/ Sender/ Transmitter
a. The source of the message
b. Requires technical skills
c. Requires enthusiasm and active stimulation
d. Involves intent
e. Requires understanding the Receiver
f. Requires decisions on how to send message
g. Requires knowledge, processing preparation and understanding

2. Channel/ media
a. How the message is sent
b. Tolls used to send message
c. Media or Medium utilized in encoding and decoding message
d. Means by which the message is communicated
e. One of more channels may be used
f. May involve technical support or intervention
g. Could be as simple as eye contact

3. Message
a. Whatever is being communicated
b. Intended and unintended messages can be transmitted
c. Verbal and non-verbal transmissions
d. May or may not be interpreted properly by receiver

4. Listener/ Receiver/ Audience
a. Every message is filtered through the listeners frame of reference
b. Listeners frame of reference is the sum total of their experiences, goal, knowledge, values, attitudes and beliefs.
c. No source and receiver have the exact frame of reference
d. A message and its transmission must be adapted to the audience
e. Noise gets in the way of the communication

5. Feedback
a. Message sent by listener to the speaker, receiver to the transmitter
b. The receiver becomes the transmitter
c. The transmitter become the receiver
d. Because all communication is transactional (involving a transaction of information, feelings or ideas) feedback operates under the same principals and rules as the original transmission and channel
e. Feedback may be immediate or delayed
f. Noise/ Screens/ Filter interfere with both the original transmission and the feedback
g. Successful speakers adjust their message based on careful studied reception of feedback

6. Interference/ Screens/ Noise / Filters
a. Anything that impeded the communication of a message
b. Can be internal or external
c. May also involve internal and external cultural filters
d. External comes from outside, physical or psychological, of the speaker or listener
e. Internal involves anything, physical or psychological, involving what is inside the sender or receiver, speaker or listener.
f. External may be noise, lighting, major events, size or shape of room, sound, temperature, other speakers and so forth
g. Internal may be poor listening skills, lack of concentration, the other 50-% of what is going on in your brain, physical ailments or disabilities, fatigue and so forth.
h. Successful speakers overcome interference in a wide range of ways, numerous times during their message

7. Encode
a. Selecting symbols to communicate a message
b. Determining how to transmit the message
c. Combination of verbal, vocal, visual and other
d. Anticipating the receiver

8. Decode
a. Understanding symbols uses to communicate a message
b. Understanding the intent of the message
c. Understanding and translating verbal, visual and other codes
d. Anticipating the intent of the sender
9. Codes
a. How a message is encoded
b. Verbal are the words used, the vocabulary
c. Vocal is how the words are said or transmitted, vocal tones, inflections, etc.
d. Visual is everything else, all sight, sound, smell, tactile touch, etc.

10. Proofs
a. Ethos - credibility, real and perceived
b. Logos – logic, common pattern of thought to a group
c. Pathos – emotional appeals
d. Mythos – myths, common stories and shorthand by culture

11. Demographics
a. Explains an individual, group, audience, market or culture
b. Numbers
c. Age
d. Gender or sex
e. Psychographic (anything else you can put a number to)

For additional information please click on "read more" below"

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Value of Critical and Creative Thinking

A Working Definition 
Business and academia have a long-held interest in critical thinking. Before you explore the nature of critical thinking and its importance, you must establish its definition. Consider the following components:

  • Identifying and challenging assumptions
  • Challenging the importance of context
  • Exploring alternatives, leading to reflective skepticism
One accepted definition says critical thinking examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions. With this definition as a foundation, the following discussion includes a critical thinker’s attributes and frameworks that help develop critical thinking skills.

Characteristics of Critical Thinking 
Critical thinkers usually do the following:

  • Ask pertinent questions.
  • Define criteria for analyzing ideas.
  • Assess statements and arguments.
  • Examine and weigh beliefs, assumptions, and opinions against facts.
  • Determine if evidence is sufficient to support claims.
  • Verify information is relevant and supported by expert sources.
  • Check materials for objectivity, fairness, and lack of distortion.
  • Detect, describe, and use relationships in their processes.
  • Sort or categorize observations, research, and experiences.
  • Submit work for peer review and accept critical challenges.
To facilitate cognitive and affective student learning—knowledge, skills and values—and to promote use of that knowledge in the workplace and in life.

Why is Critical Thinking Important? 
To reason clearly and critically. To be problem solvers, able to identify and evaluate problems, utilize critical thinking skills to recommend and select among alternative solutions, implement solutions and evaluate consequences.
These goals identify two elements vital in developing critical thinking skills in the development of cognitive and affective dispositions. We can identify the following components as part of the critical thinking process:

  • Perception
  • Assumption
  • Emotion
  • Language
  • Argument
  • Fallacy
  • Scientific reasoning
  • Reasoning or logic
  • Problem solving
Importance of Critical Thinking in the Classroom 
We want to encourage deeper levels of thinking on topics, concepts, events, beliefs, cultures and society.  We need to consistently question, challenge, and revisit our beliefs. Pushing yourself and others to go beyond reasoning that is solely based on their personal biases and opinions is one of the primary tasks of critical and creative thinking.

Critical thinking is about how we use our intelligence and knowledge to reach objective and rationale viewpoints. Opinions and beliefs based on critical thinking stand on firmer ground compared to those formulated through less rational processes. Additionally, critical thinkers are usually better equipped to make decisions and solve problems compared to those who lack this ability (Haskins, 2006, p. 2).
Outcomes of critical thinking include the following:

  • Increases academic knowledge
  • Encourages intellectual curiosity
  • Strengthens the ability to analyze and evaluate topics of interest in academia
  • Promotes understanding of social diversity and world views
  • Improves research, writing, and oral communication skills
  • Helps construct and deconstruct arguments to rationally defend opinions
  • Fosters independent learning and strong group participation (McMillan, 2008)
Regular demonstration of critical thinking through your daily life will help you to recognize benefits of developing you own critical thought processes. Helping yourself and others to identify what is sound and faulty in their reasoning and in others’ reasoning will also help to advance their depth of thinking.

Importance of Critical Thinking in the Workplace 
You want to critically think  to obtain a deeper understanding of our world and society and to learn to apply critical thinking skills in their everyday work practices. The following sources discuss the value of critical thinking and how it is practiced in the workplace:

Using our practitioner expertise to find and share similar sources 
that will assist in thinking more critically in relation to their field of choice.  

Various sources including:

Haskins, G. (2006). A practical guide to critical thinking. Retrieved from 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Public Speaking: The Basics

University of Pittburg

Presenting a good speech requires practice and knowledge. There are a few basics to get started.
Approaching the Speaking Situation: Audience, Occasion, Purpose
Structuring The Speech
Argument: Claims, Reasons, and Evidence
Oral Discourse and Extemporaneous Delivery

Approaching the Speaking Situation: Audience, Occasion, Purpose

Communication, both spoken and written, is always addressed to an audience, a set of listeners or readers you are intending to convey information to or have some effect upon. Public speaking differs from written communication in that the audience is present, gathered for some occasion. That occasion has norms and expectations that a speaker must recognize. Finally, a public speaker has some purpose, something they are trying to accomplish or set in motion. Good public speaking always accounts for these three components.

Audience. Speakers communicate differently to different audiences. To take a simple example, people tell their grandmothers about their new “significant other” in a different way than they tell their best friend. Similarly, people speak about trees differently with their high school biology teacher than they do with their younger siblings; and speakers often need to make arguments about public policy differently to Republicans than to Democrats. Two main questions guide audience adaptation in a speaking situation: Who are they? What qualities about them are relevant?

Who are they? Distinguishing general from specific audiences is useful. A general audience is everyone who will hear the speech or read the paper. A specific audience, on the other hand, is that subset of the general audience who the speaker particularly wants to reach, or to reach in a different way than the rest of the group. In an audience with varying degrees of knowledge on a subject, for instance, a speaker might want to pitch their comments primarily to non-experts (while at the same time not saying anything that a specialist would find objectionable). In the classroom, students may be speaking to the entire group but making a special effort to address the professor's expectations.

Click "read more" below to continue reading.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

You enter the car showroom looking for a vehicle. The first thing the salesperson will do is make sure you have something to drink, perhaps something to eat, and that that you are comfortable (thus the well lit showrooms with seating and tables). They are meeting your basic physiological needs.

The showroom and lot appear safe, good lighting, lots of people around, an island of safety in which to shop for a car or truck. The dealership is meeting your need for safety and security.

The salesperson calls you by name, discussed your family and "theirs", and if appropriate touch (handshake, shoulder and so forth).

The esteem level comes when you get behind the wheel. Their job is to talk you up and get you a vehicle you will love that will also enhance you self esteem and image. Does the vehicle give you confidence, make you feel successful, gain you the respect of others or earn you respect from those you wish to look up to or respect you?

Self Actualization is an issue beyond what anyone else can do for you. The explanation varies by field, by interpretation, by context. In a way if you feel good about yourself and if the vehicle meets your needs at the highest level it may contribute to your self-actualization. A person may feel self actualized with a used car, or a bicycle for that matter.

This in a nutsell is Maslow. A pyramid, not a triangle, built on a foundation that must be strong and with each new level needing to be on a sound foundation for the levels above to be strong and successful.

Most of the world lives at the bottom two levels. Most of the educated industrial world lives in the botom four levels. The top level is very difficult to achieve, if even possible.

The following is from:

Self-actualization is the summit of Maslow's motivation theory. It is about the quest of reaching one's full potential as a person. Unlike lower level needs, this need is never fully satisfied; as one grows psychologically there are always new opportunities to continue to grow.
Self-actualized people tend to have motivators such as:
  • Truth
  • Justice
  • Wisdom
  • Meaning
Self-actualized persons have frequent occurrences of peak experiences, which are energized moments of profound happiness and harmony. According to Maslow, only a small percentage of the population reaches the level of self-actualization.

Click here for further details, explanation and examples of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Understanding Others

Try to understand where others are coming from

When you speak, debate or post on a blog keep in mind that there are others who have screens/filter, life experiences, views or even traumas you may not be aware of.

For example, being too honest in a discussion about rape, may harm or create a reaction you could easily misinterpret from someone who has been raped or who may be close to someone who has been raped.

On a common gathering topic, if you talk about how celebrities have no right to an opinion or say and continue to harp on how celebrities do not know what they are talking about, be aware that an actor, family member or friend of a celebrity may be in the room. As you know I sit on the National Board of the Screen Actors Guild, so I can argue with knowledge and experience on how educated, world traveled and intelligent most (but not all) actors and celebrities are. Do not believe media hype.

All professors are not liberal, and even those who have liberal leaning views, may have conservative views on some issues and be middle of the road on most. And professors, like actors, are more likely to be well traveled and educated even if your view of intelligent may be different than theirs.

Attack instead of consider the views of others seems to be a trend that could tear apart our democracy and our civility.  Not acknowledging the validity or experience of another post or another point of view cannot be tolerated in a civil society.

It is why we teach and hope to pass on "critical thinking" in this and other classes.

The truth is not one sided, and not vested in any one person.

Experts in any given field will disagree on most issues, so it is vital we all agree to disagree.

By this point in the term you should have learned not to believe slogans, sound  bites, things repeated too often around the dinner table or office. Do the research and keep your mind open. If you disagree, contribute without attack or confrontation. We have learned about persuasion, the fallacies, demographic differences, screens and filters (Noise), differences in individual experiences, and the importance of being tolerant and open minded.

Above all we should have covered and worked together to understand the experience, point of  view and reasons behind the views of others.

To say that it is OK not to allow people to have insurance for financial reason, because insurance companies refuse to carry them or discrimination based on race, gender, religion, age or physical conditions is not the way to have a discourse. To propose a future and a way to transition to a healthier society would be a positive way to proceed on the same argument. Not everyone has money. Not everyone can afford Whole Foods or have the transportation to go to places that offer healthier eating. Not everyone is literate or speaks English. These are realities that should be acknowledged and not attacked.

One sided or unfeeling attacks fly in the face of critical thinking.

In Critical Thinking you should put yourself in the others shoes and acknowledge the other side. It does not mean you have to accept any alternative view, but you do need to know it, acknowledge its value and then use your knowledge in your balanced argumentation to support your points or agendas.  It is a requirement of the course within speeches. It is also something that is key to a democratic society.

I find it hard to question that perhaps there is a need to protect those who are already sick, were born with the wrong color skin, are the wrong sex or through no fault of their own are poor. But I know there are those whose empathy is structured differently or who have a different priority or view of how the universe should work.

I do understand.

However civic public discussion must be two sided, and open to opposing views for it to fit the purpose of this blog, most courses and our need to regain a civil society.

Respect, not inquisitions.

Understanding age and those who are different in any way is part of the process of open critical thinking.

Most courses I teach require this understanding and encourage an open mind, not attack, of others.

I am open to other views, and welcome those different than the ones I state openly on the first day of classes I teach or in my public communications.

I hope that most of you know that the "news and views" in this blog are not all my own. Some are written by others (acknowledged in the post), gleaned from media, presented to be a "devil's advocate" or presented to create two sided discourse (not argumentation), intended to assist in speech topics, content and to provide a platform for applying the concepts of the course (Communication, Media and Critical Thinking) in the wider context of society.