Sample Theoretical Framework for Chapter 1-Thesis Writing

(From my Thesis, “Enhancing Proficiency in Communication through Campus Journalism”)

This piece of research is founded primarily on Development Communication Theory, Experiential Theory, and Cognitive Process Theory of Writing formulated by Albert Bandura at Stanford University (2009), Social Cognitive Theory of Communication specifies that mass-media messages give audience members an opportunity to identify with attractive characters that demonstrate behavior, engage emotions, and allow mental rehearsal and modeling of new behavior. The behavior of models in the mass media also offers vicarious reinforcement to motivate audience members' adoption of the behavior.

Baran and Davis (2000) also classify mass communication theories into three broad categories: microscopic theories that focus on the everyday life of people who process information - for example, uses and gratifications, active audience theory, and reception studies; middle range theories that support the limited effects perspective of the media - for example, information flow theory, diffusion theory, and macroscopic theories that are concerned with media's impact on culture and society - for example, cultural studies theory.

Building upon earlier work by John Dewey and Kurt Levin, American educational theorist David A. Kolb as cited by Chapman (2010) believes “learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experiences” (1984, p. 38). The theory presents a cyclical model of learning, consisting of four stages presented in Figure 1. One may begin at any stage, but must follow each other in the sequence: concrete experience (or “DO”), reflective observation (or “OBSERVE”), abstract conceptualization (or “THINK”), active experimentation (or “PLAN”).

Further, Kolb’s four-stage learning cycle in his experiential theory shows how experience is translated through reflection into concepts, which in turn are used as guides for active experimentation and the choice of new experiences. The first stage, concrete experience (CE), is where the learner actively experiences an activity such as a lab session or field work. The second stage, reflective observation (RO), is when the learner consciously reflects back on that experience. The third stage, abstract conceptualization (AC), is where the learner attempts to conceptualize a theory or model of what is observed. The fourth stage, active experimentation (AE), is where the learner is trying to plan how to test a model or theory or plan for a forthcoming experience.

Kolb identified four learning styles which correspond to these stages. The styles highlight conditions under which learners learn better. These styles are: assimilators, who learn better when presented with sound logical theories to consider, convergers, who learn better when provided with practical applications of concepts and theories, accommodators, who learn better when provided with “hands-on” experiences, divergers, who learn better when allowed to observe and collect a wide range of information.

Odell, Cooper and Courts (1999) as cited by Baroudy (2008) made an elaboration on the Cognitive Process Theory of Writing. They expressed that there is a venerable tradition in rhetoric and composition which sees the composing process as a series of decisions and choices. However, it is no longer simply asserting this position, unless you are prepared to answer a number of questions, the most pressing of which probably is: What then are the criteria which govern that choice?” or what guides the decisions writers make as they write?”

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