The Theory of Constructivism Essay
The Theory of Constructivism
Considering the situation through the eyes of Mr. Diallo, the time in which the incident happened and the outward appearance of the police officers were highly significant. The police officers were in plain clothes. It was in the early hours of the day. There were four police officers. Even if Mr. Diallo did not have any similar experience in the past, information acquired would have led him to think of eminent danger. Hence, he might have taken a defensive stance towards them. Constructivism teaches that information learned may not always come from personal experiences.
Most of the time information is influenced by external events. Through the Constructivism approach in communication the police officers at that time would have been prepared to respond to Mr. Diallo’s defensive stance. This might have considerably brought down the tension between them. Constructivism provides a person enough tools to respond appropriately to another’s acceptance of the situation. Lastly the police officers already had a preconceived attitude toward Mr. Diallo prior to their encounter. Mr. Diallo fitted into the description of an alleged suspect.
The police officers would have had a strong objective against him even before their interaction. This objective internally strengthens the resolve of the police officers to accomplish what they set out to do, regardless of the means to attain it. When they confronted Mr. Diallo the only thing that was on their minds was apprehending him at all costs. There was little consideration given to the probable response of Mr. Diallo to the situation. The Constructivism approach would have allowed the police officers to assess the situation at all angles.
Person-centered messages consider both the way a communicator would send them and the probable response of the receiver. Knowing how to use person-centered messages in this situation, the police officers would have avoided altercation. The Diallo case is filled with should-haves and would-haves that theoretically are determined manageable by the Constructivism approach to communication. It is no longer viable at this point for obvious reasons. Mr. Diallo is no longer. The police officers involved have already been acquitted.
However, parallelism of the case and the approach provides for an ideal reference to the application of Constructivism in law enforcement. Police officers take on a very difficult role in ensuring the safety and security of citizens. When they pledge to protect and serve, they are expected to uphold the law at all costs. Much is expected of them, not only as officers of the law but as human beings as well. But they are that too, human beings. They are also influenced by the same precepts that the rest are.
They can not be expected to behave more than the rest without proper training and exposure. It is important that for these police officers to acquire the appropriate behaviors, they should be taught. The Constructivism approach in communication is a perfect tool in law enforcement. It amplifies the ability to appraise situations without having to unlearn the basic framework working within a person. What is important is that it expands understanding and broadens thought toward others. These are essential instruments in completing critical police work.
Bentley, Amanda. “The Theory of Constructivism”. 2004. Communication 560 Constructivism. 3 March 2008. <http://www. afirstlook. com/manual6/ed6man. pdf > Delia, Jesse, O’Keefe, Barbara & O’Keefe, Daniel. “The Constructivist Approach to Communication. ” Human Communication Theory. 1982. NY: Harper and Raw 147 (91). Howell, Lydia. Michael Quinn Cuts the Thin Blue Line. 2004. 5 March 2008. <http://pulsetc. com/article/php? sid=1477> Johnson, Kevin. As Slayings of Cops Rise, A New Brutality Surface. 14 October 2007. USA Today.