From page to practice : communication theory and its value for public relations educators and practitioners
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A robust scholarly discussion had been conducted for more than 30 years on the professional impact of theory on communication practice, including Vocate‘s important observation in 1997 that a rigorous education in theory creates ―learnable intelligence‖ in professional communicators. However, the question of the actual professional impact of studying communication theory has not been asked of those best positioned to judge—communication practitioners who have rigorously studied communication theory. This research attempts to determine whether learning theory actually has affected practice among communication professionals who have explicitly studied theory in pursuit of a master‘s degree in professional communication. As well, this research examines a linked issue in Canada—whether theory is being taught in practical post-secondary public relations programs. Following the latter question this research examines a pedagogical approach at the community college level towards teaching theory relevant to a professional setting. Finally, it examines the link between communication theory and the evolution of the critical communication professional.
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