Critical philosophers hold that the underlying cause of our current educational dilemma is a societal condition called modernity, the unique result of the technological orientation that has characterized society for the last two decades. Maintaining that individual human interests cannot be served by an instrumentally-oriented educational system, Habermas declares that the key to effecting change is dynamic, democratic communication in the classroom, oriented in the emancipatory interests of the unique individuals therein. The purpose of this study was to reveal an interdisciplinary link between the tenets of critical educational philosophy and communication theory, and, by implementing the dictates of extant communication theory in an experimental setting, to compare the emancipatory effect of enhanced communication on all of the participants in the learning process. Two undergraduate sections of teaching strategies designed and executed a micro-teach lesson. Each group of 20 subjects was assigned to one of two communication competence conditions. The experimental group designed and executed the micro-teach, incorporating appropriate tenets of communication theory. The control group completed the design and execution, but remained oblivious to the rationale of communication tenets. Subjects in both the roles of speaker and audience, completed a series of affective post-tests to record perceptions of realized communicative competence. These quantitative and qualitative measurements were in the form of content analyses of the communication design, speaker and listener self-report Likert-type scales, thought-listing analyses, and content analyses of open-ended interview responses. Subjects completed the final, delayed measure to assess the degree to which subjects in each group were oriented toward the emancipatory interests of their students. The lack of differentiation by treatments on the quantitative indications appeared to be the result of either the novelty of the first, graded-presentation in front of instructor and peers, or the presence of higher critical standards in the enhanced experimental condition. The results of the qualitative data analyses indicated that the experimental subjects registered valuation of target-student emancipatory interest in their orientation to general attitudes toward curriculum implementation and actual implementation decisions. Subjects in the control group were conversely instrumentally-oriented toward these general and specific constructs.

Graduation Date





Kirby, Dan


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Curriculum and Instruction




240 p.




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Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Orlando (Main) Campus




Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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