Education | Communication in The Classroom
F203 | 5521 | Elli Masters

Important notes:
Inclusion:  I wish to fully include persons with disabilities in this
course.  Students with visual, hearing, physical, and/or learning
disabilities, which may require modification of curriculum,
instruction, or assessment, should contact me.  Please see the
Handbook for Students with Disabilities for eligibility requirements,
or contact Disabled Student Services (DSS).
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.  As a student of Indiana University, you are required to adhere to
the IU Code of Student Ethics policy on academic dishonesty,
plagiarism, and student conduct.  For more information refer to the
following website:

Course Description:
"Excellence in education requires masterful communication" (Morse &
Ivey, 1996, p. 8).  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?  It is hard to imagine an activity more
common, flexible, emotional, intellectual, useful, creative, clear, or
ambiguous than communication.  This course has been designed to
increase your understanding of the facets of communication, as well as
how to communicate more effectively.
F203 aims to increase your awareness of communicating in multiple
environments, but specifically, in the classroom.  As teachers, you
will be responsible for communicating effectively with students,
family members, and other teachers and professionals.  In addition,
you will be required to understand and interpret what is being "said"
to you by all of these individuals.  Learning to do this more
effectively will be practical and empowering for your future career as
an educator.
We will pursue this understanding and awareness through discussion,
demonstration, practice, readings, observation, written reflection,
and examination. In other words, you will find many ways to discover
the facets of communication in education. If this course is
successful, much of what you learn and how you learn it will be of
your own creation. Thus, you are encouraged to participate and take
responsibility for your own and others' education.  This is essential
in this discussion-based course.

Course Goals/Objectives:
By actively participating in this course, you will, among other
	1. acquire tools which will help you communicate more
	2. think specifically about communication in the classroom
	3. think about particular topics relevant to educational
environments today
Required Text/Materials:
* You must have an email account set up and in working order,
preferably an IU account.  This will be the best way for me to
communicate with you, as well as for you to reach me.
* Text:  Nakamura, R.M. (2000).  Healthy classroom management:
Motivation, communication, and discipline.  Australia: Wadsworth.
(should be at either TIS or IU Bookstore)
* Course reading packet (available at Collegiate Copies on 3rd St.,
near Mother Bear's Pizza)
* 1 VHS videotape per collaborative inquiry group


1. Attendance:  Attendance in class is crucial to the success of the
class as a whole, as well as to what you gain from this course.  I
will take attendance at the beginning of each class; regular
attendance is expected!  Irregular attendance could affect your grade
because you may miss activities, quizzes, and other components of the
class.  You will NOT receive credit nor be able to make up points for
missed in-class assignments and activities.  It is your responsibility
to reach the instructor and obtain materials missed.  Punctuality to
class is a must!  I often will make announcements at the beginning of
class and if you're not there, you will miss important information.
In addition to these
self-serving reasons, punctuality and good attendance are qualities
that you will be expected to exhibit as a teacher someday.

2. Active Participation:  "Students do better as active, engaged
learners rather than playing the role of passive vessels waiting to be
filled" (Morse & Ivey, 1996, p. 3).  The key word is ACTIVE!  You come
to class, prepared by having read and completed assignments; you
question, comment, and reflect aloud in the class discussion. Your
attendance, active class involvement, and participation will be
valuable both for you and your classmates as you learn about
communication and how it relates to education.  I do not plan to award
"participation points" per se, but I reserve the right to make changes
to this policy if the class is not participating.  You will
need/expect the same participation from your students someday, so
engage and be active!!

3. Assignments:  ALL assignments (excluding in-class work) are to be
TYPED and turned in during the assigned class.  Format of typed of
assignments:  Times New Roman, 12 font, one-inch margins all the way
around, double-spaced unless stated otherwise.  Hand-written work will
NOT be accepted.  The grading criteria I will use to grade your papers
is included in the reading packet.  Use this to guide your writing!!

4. Late assignments:  All assignments are due on the date posted.
Late assignments will be penalized 5% beginning after class and for
each day thereafter.  Example:  Paper was due on Monday in class, you
turn it in on Thursday; 20% will be taken off your grade for that
assignment.  (Keep in mind that missed in-class activities and missed
reading reflection collections cannot be made up.)


1. Identity Collage:  5 extra credit points!!  As part of our
community building activities, you are invited to create a collage (on
any size poster board you choose), which describes who you are as an
individual and as a developing professional (e.g., future teacher).
You can use photos, drawings, quotes, magazine cut-outs, etc. to
design your collage.  You may want to include the following, but are
not limited to these: family history, birthplace, hobbies, unique
characteristics, accomplishments, career goals, etc.  You will have
the opportunity to present your collage to the class.

2.  Important Teacher Qualities assignment:
There are two options for this assignment; choose one.  Be ready to
turn in this paper and share your experiences/thoughts during class
discussion on September 3.
a. After reading the Morse article, think of a teacher from your K-12
experience that made a difference in your life.  This teacher may have
made you feel special, may have helped you through a particularly
difficult time, or did something significant in your eyes.  Write 2-3
paragraphs (no more than one page, single-spaced) about this teacher.
What did they teach?  What was it about this teacher that made him or
her your favorite?  What personal characteristics or qualities did
they have that you valued?
b. Imagine that your colleagues are hosting your retirement party.
They have invited some your former students to speak about your
influence on their lives.  Write a paper (no more than one page,
single-spaced) entitled "(your name): My Favorite Teacher."  Include
characteristics that you want your students to remember about you.
Think about your "mission statement" and goals as a future educator.
What do you hope to hear former students saying about you?

3.  In-Class Activities (5 points each):
There will be certain activities (e.g., group work, pop quizzes, etc.)
for which you can receive credit just by being in class and
participating.  This is a less arbitrary way to include a measure of
participation in your final grade.  Instead of judging whether I think
you participated "enough" (whatever that means), I will collect work
done in class and give points for that.  Obviously, you will not be
able to make up any points for activities in classes that you miss.

4.  Reading Reflections (RR) (5 required):
These are to be reactions to the readings, in which you reflect on how
the reading is applicable to the teaching you expect to do in the
future, how it relates to experiences you have had as either students
or instructors, and any other reflective thoughts you have about the
reading.  These should NOT be summaries of the articles; summaries
will NOT be accepted.  The purpose is for you to have an opportunity
to deepen your understanding by synthesizing what you know with what
you read and to, perhaps, discuss/critique/ question what the articles
say.  These are intended to help you think critically about the
articles and prepare you for class discussion.  These should be
one-half to one page (single-spaced is fine) in length and can be
narrative or bulleted points.

Collection of these assignments will be on a random basis.  Not
everyone will hand in a reflection for each reading, but by the end of
the semester everyone will have had equal opportunity to turn in the
same number of assignments (5).  However, you should do each possible
reading reflection because you will not know if you are required to
turn in the assignment until you get to that class period.  If you are
absent on a day when I draw your name to turn in the assignment, you
will not be able to make up those points.  (This will be further
explained in class.)

5.  Reflection Papers (RP 1-4)
FOR VIDEOS:  We will have three in-class videos this semester.  For
each video, you are required to write a short (1-2 page,
double-spaced) video reflection paper and hand it in on the following
class day.  The purpose of this is for you to reflect on the film and
how you see the concepts relating to the classroom.  How did the video
affect you?  What did you think of it?  Was it important to you?  Was
it a waste of our time?  What about it, specifically, was good and/or
bad?  Did you agree with the concepts presented in the film?  These
are to be reflections of your thoughts and opinions, NOT a summary of
the film.
FOR GROUP PRESENTATIONS: Each student will be required to write an
evaluation of a collaborative inquiry/teaching group's presentation.
Details will be provided on this requirement later in the semester.

6.  Mid-term Examination: You are required to take the mid-term
examination on October 8.  The questions for this exam will cover
course reading material, course lectures, videos, and/or guest
speaker(s).  It is possible that the exam will include some questions
generated by the class.  Format will be discussed in class at a later

7. Video Analysis:  see pages following syllabus for detailed

8. Collaborative Inquiry and Teaching: see pages following syllabus
for a detailed description.

9. Final Exam:  You are required to write a final reflection paper
about the course.  This paper is to be four to five full pages,
double-spaced (follow the assignment format provided previously).  The
subject of this final paper is to reflect upon the course as a whole,
including lectures, activities, movies, projects, guest lectures, etc.
? What was most valuable?
? What do you think is the most important thing you learned from this
course and why?
? How will/can you apply what you have learned in F203 to your future
as an educator?
? What will you take with you and apply to your own future classroom
interactions?  What expectations of the course did you have that were
or were not met and why?
? What fears do you have of becoming a teacher?  Were any of these
lessened/ eliminated because of what you learned in F203?
? What are your own communication strengths and weaknesses?  What
impact will they have on your future classrooms?
? How do you think your communication skills and the importance they
hold for you will change as you gain more classroom teaching

NOTE: What this is NOT-->  This is not a chance for you to find every
good or bad thing to say about the class or me.  You will have a
chance to evaluate me and the structure of the course, but this is not
the place for it.  The final paper is a chance for you to evaluate
what you learned and how you can apply it to your future.  If you
learned nothing, then tell me why, what you would have liked to learn,
and how you would have best learned those things.  BE THOUGHTFUL!!

Do not think that superficial comments will get you a good grade on
this final paper.  I am very serious about this alternative to a final
exam and expect you to be as well.  I am looking for specific
examples, thoughts, feelings, organization, depth of reflection, etc.
(e.g., "I feel that the most helpful activity was ____, because ____."
"I think I have gained a better understanding of stereotyping and its
effects because ____."  " I didn't see how the topic of communication
could relate to cross-cultural issues.  But after reading _______  or
doing ______, I see how they are very much intertwined.") Get the

Grading Formula

A+ 98-100%
A  94-97%
A- 90-93%
B+ 88-89%
B  84-87%
B- 80-83%
C+ 78-79%
C  74-77%
C- 70-73%
D+ 68-69%
D 64-67%
D- 60-63%
F >  59%

Collaborative Group 20 % 100 pts.
Final Paper 20 % 100 pts.
Mid-term Exam 20 % 100 pts.
Video analysis 15 % 75 pts.
Reading Reflections (5) 5 % 25 pts.
Reflection Papers (4) 10 % 50 pts.
In-class Activities  5 % 25 pts.
Import. Teacher Qualities 5 % 25 pts.
Total Possible 100% 500 pts.

* Identity collage is worth 5 extra credit points, added to your final
point total.
* There will be an opportunity for 5 more extra credit points later in
the course.

Note:  If you prefer, you may turn in assignments with your student ID
number (or the last four digits of this number) instead of your name.
Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other sentence construction errors
will be considered in grades for written assignments.  I see this to
be of assistance to you as you continue to improve your writing

Tentative Schedule of Readings/Assignments

Assignment/Readings Due
Go by reader pages...

Aug. 27
Orientation and Community Building

Aug. 29
Community Building (continued)
Identity collages (EC)

Sept. 3
Community Building (cont.)
CP, 16-20; N, 32-37; Identity collages; Teacher Qualities assignment

Sept. 5
Challenges Facing Teachers; GRE

CP, 21-42; N, 14 (bottom)--29; RR1 due

Sept. 10
Communicative Skills
N, ch. 7; CP, 43-_____
RR2 due

Sept. 12
Communicative Skills (cont.)

(cont.); RR 2 still accepted

Sept. 17
Movie: The Lion's Den

Sept. 19
Non-Verbal Communication
CP, _________ ; RR3 due

Sept. 24
The Lion's Den (cont.)

Sept. 26
Person-first language and disabilities
CP, ___________ ; N, page 22 & Appendix F; RR4 and RP1 due

Oct. 1
Movie: Reality Therapy in the Classroom
CP, _________

Oct. 3
Review for Mid-Term
RP2 due

Oct. 8
Mid-Term Examination

Oct. 10
CP, _____________ ; RR5 due

Oct. 15
Cross-Cultural Communication
CP, ______________ ; RR6 due

Oct. 17
Cross-Cultural Communication (cont.)
(cont.) RR6 still accepted

Oct. 22
Home-School-Community Collaboration
CP, _____________; N, 39 (bottom)-52;  RR7 due
Oct. 24
Parent-Teacher Communication/Conferences
CP, ______________ ; RR8 due

Oct. 29
Parent-Teacher (cont.)
(cont.); RR8 still accepted

Oct. 31
Ability grouping, group communication
CP, ______________ ; N, ch. 5; RR9 due

Nov. 5
Sexual Harassment
CP, _________ ; RR10 due

Nov. 7
Movie: It's Elementary
CP, ________

Nov. 12
Collaborative Inquiry/Teaching Group #1
RP3 due

Nov. 14
Collaborative Inquiry/Teaching Group #2
RP4 will be due between 11/14 and 12/5-will be explained further in

Nov. 19
Collaborative Inquiry/Teaching Group #3

Nov. 21
NO CLASS-Thanksgiving break
Eat a lot, watch a lot of football...

Nov. 26
Collaborative Inquiry/Teaching Group #4

Nov. 28
Collaborative Inquiry/Teaching Group #5

Collaborative Inquiry/Teaching Group #6

Dec. 5
Review/Course evaluations; discussion