Education | Communications in the Classroom
F203 | 5504 | Steven D. Nichols
As the instructor of this course, I reserve the right to make changes
to the syllabus as needed. I will inform each student of any changes
at the earliest date possible in class or via email.
Students with Disabilities: Students with visual, hearing, physical,
and/or learning disabilities, which may require modification of
curriculum, instruction, or assessment should contact the instructor.
I wish to fully include persons with disabilities in this course.
Modifications and accommodations will be made after the student has
presented documentation indicating qualification for services from DSS
(Disabled Student Services). See the Handbook for Students with
Disabilities for eligibility requirements.
Academic Misconduct: Cheating, plagiarism, sexual harassment,
racial/ethnic discrimination and slurs, or any other student
misconduct that adversely affects the learning or safety of other
students will not be tolerated in my classroom or on this campus. If
any student becomes aware of any of these activities, or feels they
have been the victim of sexual harassment, racial/ethnic
discrimination, or any other act of malicious intent, please contact
me or Pam Freeman of the Student Ethics Division, IU's Racial
Incidents Team, or the Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Anti-Harassment
Team. For more information about this refer to:
F203 Course Description:
Because communication is pervasive and easily taken for granted, it is
also easy to forget its importance. Think for a moment. When do we not
communicate? Does anyone else have to be present for communication?
The difficulty in answering these questions is the extent to which
communication pervades our lives. It is hard to imagine an activity
more common, flexible, emotional, intellectual, useful, creative,
clear, or ambiguous than communication.
It is obviously a big subject. There are many examples of
communication, and many ways to study it. In this course, we will
study communication from the point of view of education. Among the
questions we will ask are: What is communication, and what is
education; how does communication contribute to learning; what are the
components and kinds of communication; how do they function in
classrooms and schools; what is the relationship between communication
and community; how does communication promote safety and the
resolution of conflict; how can teachers communicate effectively with
We will pursue these and other questions by means of discussion,
demonstration, practice, readings, observation, written reflection,
and examination. In other words, you will find many ways to discover
communication in education. If this course is successful, many of the
ways you discover communication will be ways of your own creation.
Thus, you are encouraged to seek truth, learn boldly, participate,
risk, and take responsibility for your own and other's education.
An E-mail Account is required for this course and should be checked
regularly, as important course information is sent frequently from
2 VHS videotapes
Morse, P.S., Ivey, A.E. (1996). Face to face: Communication and
conflict resolution in the schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press,
A course packet is available at TIS and/or the IMU Bookstore. The
Course Packet contains the following required readings for the course.
Bringing your course packet to class on September 5th earns 2 bonus
points that will be added on to your final grade. No exceptions will
be made if it is not brought to class on the 5th.
Modes of Evaluation/Assignments and Classroom Activities
1. Significant Other Assignment. After reading the Morse reading,
think of a teacher from your K-12 experience that touched your life in
a special way. This teacher may have
made you feel special, or may have helped you through a particularly
hard time, or have given you hope. Write 2-3 paragraphs (no more than
a page) about this teacher. What did they teach? What was it about
this teacher that you appreciated so much and that made them so
significant in your memory? What personal characteristics or qualities
did they have that you valued? Prepare to share these stories in a
discussion with your classmates on Jan. 18th.
2. Reflection Papers:
a. Reading Reflections (#RR-1 to RR-9): Whenever there is an assigned
reading for a class, students must write a brief M assignment. These
are to be reactions to the readings, where you reflect on how the
reading is applicable to the teaching you will soon be doing when you
graduate. It should include your reflective thoughts about the
article, and should NOT be a summary of the article. Summaries will
not be accepted. The purpose is to give students an opportunity to
deepen their understanding by synthesizing the information from the
assigned readings, paying attention to the topic of the session and
perhaps discussing or critiquing the reading, but not summarizing it.
Questions you think of during the reading may be included in these
write-ups that will enhance classroom discussion on their due dates.
These are not intended to take more than about 20 minutes to complete
(in addition to the actual reading) and from one-half to no more than
one full page typed (12 pt. type, 1" margins, double-spaced). There
are eight minor assignments, one for each week, as listed on the
course schedule. Late Minor Assignments will be subject to a grade
penalty. Though there are 9 of these listed, you are only responsible
for turning in only 6 of them. Extra credit will not be given for
turning in more than 5. Students have the option of deciding which
ones they will turn in.
b. In-class Film Reflections (#MR-1 to MR-2): There are two in-class
films throughout the semester. A half to one-page reflection paper is
due on the day following any class film. The purpose of this is to
have the student reflect on the film and how they see the concepts
relating to the classroom. Was the film important to you? Was it a
waste of time? What about it, specifically, was good or bad? How did
it affect you? Though 2 of these are assigned, students are only
responsible for turning in 1 of them. Extra credit will not be given
for turning in more than 1. Students have the option of deciding which
one they turn in.
c. Guest Lecture Reflections (#GLR-1 to GLR-2): There are two guest
lectures scheduled for the course. A reflection paper is due on the
day following any class guest lecture. The purpose is to have the
student reflect on the lecture and how they see the lecture relating
to the real world of teaching. Was the lecture valuable? What
specifically was good or less helpful? How did it affect you? Though 2
of these are assigned, students are only responsible for turning in 1
of them. Extra credit will not be given for turning in more than 1.
Students have the option of deciding which one they turn in.
d. Combined Reflection paper (#CR-1): Due on December 12th by noon in
my 4th floor mailbox, this is a combined movie and speaker's panel
reflection paper not to exceed one and one-half pages in length, and
is similar to the previous reflection assignments. All students are
required to turn this combined reflection paper in.
3. Mid-Term Examination: There is a required mid-term examination on
Tuesday, October 17th. Questions will be comprised of course reading
material, course lecture, and possibly some questions created by the
4. Peer to Peer Video Critique Projects: Will be discussed in class.
5. Parent/Teacher Conference Video Critique Projects: Will be
discussed in class.
As is apparent in the course title, this class is all about
communication. Much of the value of this course lies in what we can
communicate together in class and in the field. The participation
component will be comprised primarily of your participation in
classroom discussions. For example, on dates that readings have been
assigned, students are expected to discuss the readings in order to
earn participation points, and not engage in anecdotal stories that
are not directly related to the readings. Students who do not
communicate verbally in class will have their participation grade
lowered accordingly. I have had several students from last semester
calling my house after grade reports were sent home wondering why they
didn't get a higher grade…since according to their calculations their
grade should have been higher. In each case, the difference they had
not taken into account was their participation grade, which was
lowered substantially due to their non-participation in class. I did
not change any of their grades as a result of their calling. Please
don't let this happen to you.
Attendance in class is required. You must notify your instructor in
advance of any absence; your instructor reserves the right to lower
your final grade one-half letter after 3 absences. Your grade will be
lowered one entire letter grade after 6 absences. This point deduction
pattern is cumulative for over 6 absences.
You are strongly encouraged to participate in class, and I believe
such participation will lead to better learning for all. Students will
also be asked to provide the instructor with periodic feedback. This
will entail a brief written statement of any questions, comments,
and/or suggestions you may have about the particular class session or
Signif. Other Paper 5% 10pts.
Reflection Papers 20% 40pts.
Mid-term Exam 20% 40pts.
Peer-Peer video proj. 20% 40pts.
P/T conference proj. 25% 50pts.
Participation 10% 20pts
A94-100% B-80-83% D+68-69%
A-90-93% C+78-79% D64-67%
B+88-89% C74-77% D-60-63%
B84-87% C-70-73% F> 59%Planned Schedule of Course*
*As the instructor of this course, I reserve the right to make changes
to this schedule as needed.
I will inform each student of any changes at the earliest date
possible in class or via email.
Aug. 29 Orientation and Community Building
Aug. 31 Community Building (continued)
Sept. 5 Community Building (continued)
Assignment Due: Significant Other Assignment
Sept. 7 Class Discussion
Have Read: 1) Morse, A survey of college students' reactions to their
K-12 teachers and schools, and 2) Kottler & Kottler, Adjusting to
Assignment Due: Reading Reflection paper #RR1
Sept. 12 Communication Attitudes: Empathy, Unconditional Positive
Regard, and Genuineness
Have Read: 1) Rogers, The interpersonal relationship in the
facilitation of learning, and 2) Locke & Ciechalski, Communication
techniques for teachers
Assignment Due: Reading Reflection paper #RR2
Sept. 14 Lion's Den – movie/discussion
Sept. 19 Communication Skills
Have Read: Chapters 1, 2, and 3 of Face to Face book
Assignments Due: Movie Reflection paper (from Sept. 14th) #MR1 and
Reading Reflection paper #RR3
Sept. 21 Communicative Skills
Have Read: Chapter 4, 5, and 6 of Face to Face book
Assignment Due: Reading Reflection paper #RR4
Sept. 26 Integrating Communication Attitudes--Role Playing tapings in
Sept. 28Reality Therapy in the Classroom – movie/discussion
Oct. 3Person-First Language – and activity
Assignment Due: Movie Reflection Paper #MR2 (from Sept. 28th)
Oct. 5Review/Practice the communication skills with vignettes/role
plays tapings in CHG
Oct. 10Lion's Den (continuation)/ discussion
Oct. 12Mid-term Review
Oct. 17Mid-term Examination
Oct. 19 Mental Health Day – class activity
Oct. 24 Stereotypes
Oct. 26 Stereotypes
Oct. 31 Cross-Cultural Communication
Have Read: Sue & Sue, Cross-cultural communication/counseling styles
Assignment Due: Reading Reflection paper #RR5
Nov. 2Parent/Teacher Conferences
Have Read: Kottler & Kottler, Communicating with parents
Assignment Due: Reading Reflection paper #RR6
Nov. 7Special Topic: Group Communication--class activities
Have Read: Locke & Ciechalski, The teacher and group situations
Assignment Due: Reading Reflection paper #RR7
Nov. 9Parent/Teacher Conference projects, tapings in CHG
Nov. 14Guest Lecture -- Domestic Abuse/Child Abuse
Nov. 16Parent/Teacher Conference projects, tapings in CHG
Assignment Due: Guest Lecture Reflection paper #GLR-1 (fromNov. 30th)
Nov. 21Sexual Harassment
Have Read: Stein, Sexual harassment in school: The public performance
of gendered violence
Assignments Due: Reading Reflection paper #RR-8 and Peer to Peer Video
Critique Projects Due (include the video with your paper critiques)
Nov. 23NO CLASS – Thanksgiving Recess
Nov. 28Mental Health Day -- activity
Nov. 30Guest Speaker, Rene Monteagudo on Conflict Resolution
Have Read: Face to Face chapter on Conflict Resolution
Assignment Due: Reading Reflection paper #RR-9
Dec. 5 It's Elementary – movie
Assignment Due: Guest Lecture Reflection paper #GLR-2
(from Nov. 30th)
Dec. 7Speaker's Panel
Assignment Due: Parent/Teacher Video Critique Projects Due (include
the video with your paper critiques)
Dec. 12 No Final Examination—Enjoy the Holiday Break!
Assignment Due: It's Elementary movie and Speaker's Panel combined
reflection paper #CR-1(no more than one page double-spaced) due in my
box on 4th floor by 12:00 noon.
Course Packet Table of Contents
F203 Communication in the Classroom—Instructor: Steven D. Nichols
1. F203 Course Syllabus
2. Assorted Handouts
3. Morse, P. S., (1994). A survey of college students' reactions to
teachers and schools. Education, 115, 133-136.
4. Kottler, J. A., & Kottler, E. (2000). Adjusting to Multiple Roles.
Counseling Skills for Teachers, (pp. 1-11). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin
5. Rogers, C.R., (1969). The interpersonal relationship in the
facilitation of learning. Freedom to learn, (pp. 102-127). Colombus,
OH: Charles E. Merrill Publishing Co.
6. Locke, D.C., & Ciechalski, J.C. (1995). Communication techniques
for teachers. Psychological Techniques for Teachers, (pp. 33-47).
Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Francis.
7. Sue, D.W., & Sue, D. (1990). Cross-cultural
Counseling the culturally different: Theory and practice (2nd Ed.),
(pp.49-74), New York: Wiley & Sons.
8. Kottler, J. A., & Kottler, E. (2000). Communicating with Parents.
Counseling Skills for Teachers, (pp. 90-110). Thousand Oaks, CA:
Corwin Press, Inc.
9. Locke, D.C., & Ciechalski, J.C. (1995). The teacher and group
situations. Psychological techniques for teachers, (pp. 97-114),
Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Francis.
10. Stein, N. (1995). Sexual harassment in school: The public
performance of gendered violence. Harvard Educational Review, 65,