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Elwood Murray (1897–1988) was a pioneer in communication education. Beginning in the 1930s, he applied nontraditional methods in the speech classroom to encourage students to internalize and apply what they learned, and to view knowledge holistically. Drawing on the work of Kunkel, Moreno, Lewin, and Korzybski, Murray focused on developing skills in interpersonal and group communication. He facilitated classroom activities that he believed would bring about positive change in students’ personalities as well as enhance their relationships and leadership ability. Communication methodologies, he argued, could facilitate learning in all fields and foster interdisciplinary understanding. In spite of much skepticism by his colleagues, Murray introduced innovative classroom practices that advanced our thinking about instructional communication.


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© Taylor & Francis. Final version published as: Brownell, J. (2014). Elwood Murray: Pioneering methodologist in communication. Communication Education, 63(2), 329-343. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.