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Administrative Issues Journal

Abstract

Communication teachers have long been concerned with the development of students’ oral communication competencies. Regrettably, public speaking remains one of the most feared communicative contexts. Though there has been extensive interest in cognitive/behavioral strategies for alleviating communication apprehension, there has been surprisingly little descriptive pedagogical research conducted on the subject within actual classroom settings. This qualitative case study examines the way one communication teacher dealt with issues of student reticence and fear in her introductory public speaking courses through the use of humanistic, student-centered principles. Findings reveal that her pedagogy emphasized (a) the expression of feelings and emotions, (b) prizing the whole student, and (c) intrinsic motivational learning. Implications for communication instruction and pedagogical research are considered.

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