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Australian Journal of Teacher Education Essay

Listening, interpersonal, written and oral communication skills are to accomplish their responsibilities effectively. Teachers are constantly gathering, sorting, analyzing and explaining information to learners. Not only do teachers need to accomplish technical tasks, they must also communicate efficiently and effectively with internal and external customers. Development of effective communication skills is an important part of teachers’ advancement potential. Teachers must possess giggly developed communication skill levels to become a successful professional.

The development of these skills not only enhances the teachers’ potential, but will also improve the quality of teachers produced. Advanced communication skills are required in every aspect of the teaching process. Teachers must possess highly developed oral and writing skills to communicate with management, learners and co- workers effectively. Open communication lines will minimize the potential of ill feelings during the teaching process. The next step is to carefully listen before responding to what the other person is communicating. Defensiveness needs to be avoided in the teaching process.

Loss (2000) recommends utilizing positive statements, rather than accusatory statements, when communicating. Also, Reese & Guard (2001) suggested that older, mature students have high positive attitudes toward communication skills training. Volvo 35, 4,July 2010 1 Australian Journal of Teacher Education Employers maintain that graduates need training in such topics as speaking and listening (Mages, Welded, & Ignoble, 1997), persuasion techniques and conflict management (Irenics & Shelby, 1997), and interpersonal communication (Golden, Cataract, & Mocked, 1997).

In a synthesis of literature on entry-level employees, Tunnel and Mitchell (1999) report a litany of communication abilities expected by employers, including written communication, oral communication, leadership communication, team skills, presentation skills, global/cultural awareness, and interpersonal communication. The American Secretary Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills report (SCANS, 1992) identified interpersonal skills and basic communication skills, including speaking and listening, as two of eight essential competencies necessary for success in the workplace.

Interpersonal skills were defined as the ability to work on teams, teach others, serve customers, lead, negotiate, and work well with people from culturally diverse backgrounds. Subsequently, North and Worth (2004) found that interpersonal skills were the most frequently mentioned competency required in entry level Job ads from newspapers in 10 metropolitan areas. Eighty percent of ads noted that candidates should have strong interpersonal skills. Similarly, they found 49% of entry-level advertisement included requirements for basic skills related to communication, including reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Further evidence suggests that employers in all occupational fields place greater value on employees’ communication skills than they do on their technical skills (California State University, 2000; McPherson, 1998; Mass, weld & Ignoble, 1997; Remiss & Shelby, 1997, 1996; Plucky, 1996). Several studies have found correlations between employees’ communication skills and supervisors’ perceptions of Job performance (Mass, Weld, & Ignoble, 1997; Scudded & Guiana, 1989).

Oral communication is consistently identified both as the most important competency in evaluating entry-level Job success (Seymour, 1989). Numerous studies have compared leaders with non-leaders to determine distinguishing characteristics of leaders. Analyses of these studies indicate that the majority of the distinguishing characteristics of leaders involve social and interpersonal skills, including social nearness and friendliness, group task sportiveness, cohesion and teamwork, emotional balance and control, nurturing behavior, and verbal fluency (AAA-Omar, ABA Tinge, & Shawnee, 2008; Bass, 1981).

Pinups and Debonair (2004) contended that leadership is at its heart a communication process because it seeks to strengthen human relationships by increasing trust and understanding. This definition of leadership as communication is shared by leading organizational communication textbooks (Conrad & Poole, 2002; Ginsberg & Goodwill, 2004 O’Hara, Offender, & Dixon, 2002; Shockley-zwieback, 2002). Gutenberg & small (1997) measured second- and third-year medical students’ attitudes towards patients, illness and care at three time points to measure attitude change during and after a communication skills teaching intervention.

Participants’ attitudes were measured: (1) Just before the course; (2) Just after the course; and (3) six months after the course. The authors found that medical students’ attitudes did not change substantially as a result of the communication skills teaching intervention, suggesting that students’ attitudes towards patients, illness and care were very stable and considerable effort was needed to initiate a change in attitudes. Despite the importance of communication skills, scholars have documented significant deficiencies in employees’ communication skills (Bedpan & Lonely, 1987; Peterson, 1997).

Business schools have been criticized for not adequately teaching the communication skills and competencies needed in today’s service oriented, team- oriented, and decentralized environment (Mapping, 1993; Enameller, Heroic, & Orenstein, 1999; Pinups, Raffled, & OLL, 1994). Mass et al. (1997) noted that the five classical management Volvo 35, 4,July 2010 2 Australian Journal of Teacher Education functions of planning, organizing, commanding, controlling, and coordinating, as developed by Payola (1949), continue to be the managerial skills emphasized in business textbooks.

These functions are highly dependent on effective communication skills. Enameller et al. (1999) found that in top accounting firms, 80% of work time is spent in communication. Peterson (1997) found oral communication, decision making, and leadership were the most important competencies evaluated in hiring decisions. Moreover, the nature of class assignments may also give short shrift to the range of communication skills that are required by business leaders. Mass et al. 1997) noted that business course work often requires formal classroom presentations, but few courses require students to engage in other forms of communication, such as conducting meetings or resolving conflicts. This is so even though business professionals and business faculty similarly alee such business communication competencies (Waned, 1995). Perhaps not surprisingly, Peterson (1997) surveyed 253 corporate recruiters and found that they were dissatisfied with the communication skills of potential hires.

Cane’s (1993) survey of MBA recruiters for Fortune 500 companies found that most assumed that graduates had requisite technical and managerial knowledge, so recruiters instead candidates. Recruiters’ top three criteria for evaluating candidates applying for management positions were strong interpersonal skills, communication skills, and team-oriented skills (Kane, 1993). As Serapes and Davis (2000) argued, educators would help companies reduce their training costs by developing course activities to enhance students’ communication skills.

In Jordanian universities, communication subject taught as a chapter through courses of classroom management and preschool classroom management. There are, sometimes, in different courses in these universities, lectures on the teacher-student relationship and factors influencing teacher-student communications. In sum, the literature suggests that communication skills are becoming increasingly important for success in the contemporary workplace environment.

Whereas educational schools have generally been slow to adapt their curricula to emphasize communication skills, employers as essential to managerial success increasingly recognize these skills. There is little research-identifying students’-teachers’ attitudes towards communication skills in educational colleges. This pilot study addressed the gap in the literature to measure attitudes towards communication skills among students in Jordanian public universities. Purpose of study The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes toward communication skills among students’-teachers’ in Jordanian public universities.

A modified version of the Communication Skills Attitudes Scale (SACS) (Reese, Sheared, & Davies, 2002) was administered. Specifically, the following research questions guided this study: 1 What are the attitudes toward communication skills among students-teachers? Rare there significant mean differences in the positive and negative attitudes toward communication skills among students-teachers in relation to their GAP (less than 2, 2 and more), year level (sophomore, Junior, and senior) and discipline (class teacher, childhood teacher)? OLL 35, 4, July 2010 3 Australian Journal of Teacher Education Methodology Population and sample of study The target population for the study included all students of educational sciences college and Queen Iranian Childhood College enrolled in one of these college courses, as part of their degree program in the Hesitate University during the first semester of academic year 2008/2009. A purposive sample of four courses was chosen that taught communication subject as a chapter or a lecture during the semester.

These courses were classroom management and preschool classroom management. 310 students were enrolled in these chosen courses, with a total of 289 students completed the survey with accepted response rate of 93%. The result sample included 81 students from Childhood College and 208 students from educational sciences college. Students were told that participation was voluntary, and assured that their responses were anonymous. Instrumentation Davies (2002).

The communication skills attitude scale (SACS) used to collect information regarding student attitudes about communication skills training. The (SACS) consists of 26 items as shown in Table, 13 of which are written in the form of positive statements and 13 negative statements about communication skills learning. Each item is accompanied by a 5-point Liker scale, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) o 5 (strongly agree). Participants also completed a demographic questionnaire, which included items on their GAP, and year level.

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