Education | Communication in the Classroom
F203 | 5527 | Steve Jett

Syllabus Disclaimer:
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.

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? Is the message we would like to communicate the same as
the message received? 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: 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 students and parents?
We will pursue these and other questions by means of discussion,
demonstration, practice, readings, observation, and written
reflection. 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 learn boldly, participate, risk, and take
responsibility for your own and other's education.

Course Objectives:
1. Students will help build and maintain a sense of community within
the class that allows for open expression of thoughts and feelings.
2. Students will better understand messages of communication in the
classroom by becoming acquainted with certain listening skills and
3. Students will develop and enhance important teaching skills and
attitudes by actively participating in the learning process.
4. Students will reflect upon classroom experiences and readings in a
way that promotes personal and professional growth.

Important Notes:
Students with Disabilities: Students with visual, hearing, physical,
and/or learning disabilities that 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:

Internet and E-mail Access Required:
A majority of the readings for this course are available on Academic
Search Elite (EBSCO).  To access this website, go to  We will spend some time early in the
semester helping you to get acquainted with this system.
Also, I will be emailing you important course information, so please
check your email regularly.

Reserved Readings: (* indicate that the article is available on EBSCO)

*Chandler, T. A.  (1998).  Use of reframing as a classroom strategy.
Education, 119, 365-369.

*Cooper, N. J. (2000).  Facilitating Learning from Formative Feedback
in Level 3 Assessment.  Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education,
25, 279-293.

*Deiro, J.  (1997).  Teacher strategies for nurturing healthy
connections with students.  Journal for a Just & Caring Education, 3,

*Egri, C. P. & Keleman, K. S.  (1996).  Breaking up is hard to do:
Building separation and transitions at the end of the course.  Journal
of Management Education, 20, 358-369.	

Locke, D.C. & Ciechalski, J.C. (1995).  Psychological techniques for
teachers.  The teacher and group situations.  (pp. 97-114).
Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Francis.	

*Morse, P. S. (1994).  A survey of college students' reactions to
their K-12 teachers and schools.  Education, 115, 133-136.

Morse, P.S. & Ivey, A.E. (1996).  Face to face: Communication and
conflict resolution in the schools, (pp. 11-46).  Thousand Oaks, CA:
Corwin Press, Inc.

*Nicholas, S. N. (1997).  Community-building in the classroom: A
process.  Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education & Development,
35, (pp. 198-298).

*Ornstein, S. & Sankowsky, D. (1994).  Overcoming stereotyping and
prejudice: A framework and suggestions for learning.  Journal of
Management Education, 18, 289-304.

Rogers, C.R.  (1969). The interpersonal relationship in the
facilitation of learning. Freedom to learn, (pp. 102-127). Columbus,
OH: Charles E. Merrill Publishing Co.
Modes of Evaluation/Assignments and Classroom Activities: ALL PAPERS

Identity Collage (30 points): As part of our community building
activities, you will be responsible for designing a collage on
regular-sized poster board (approximately 24" by 36"), which describes
who you are as an individual and as a future professional.  You may
use photographs, magazine pictures, quotes, etc., to design your
collage.  Information that you may want to include in your collage,
but are not limited to: birthplace, friends, family, unique
characteristics, accomplishments, and career goals.  In essence, this
collage should be a reflection of you. Also, you are welcome to bring
in additional items (e.g., favorite book or favorite instrument),
which will not fit on your poster.  On May 14, you will present your
collage (and additional items if you have them) to the class.

Weekly Journals (25 points per journal): For the purposes of promoting
personal and professional growth, you are required to write weekly
journals.  These journals should reflect a critical analysis and
synthesis of the required readings and classroom discussions as well
as your overall experiences in the class.  For each journal, I will
provide certain questions to guide your responses.  Journals are to be
2-4 pages and will be collected every Monday.

Collaborative Inquiry and Teaching Project (120 points):

All students will participate in a 3- or 4- member inquiry and
teaching team.  Each team will research a topic and teach it to the
class.  Teams are responsible for contacting and setting up an
appointment with me to discuss their teaching plans at least 2 weeks
prior to their scheduled teaching date.  In this meeting, each group
will bring a written outline of their teaching project, which will be
worth 20 points toward the final teaching grade.  This draft should
include the goals of the lesson, an outline of your material (with
specific activities included), anticipated time of each activity, and
a reference page (minimum of 5 references).

I will assign a grade to the entire project.  This does not mean,
however, that each group member will receive the same grade.
Following your presentation, each team member will individually grade
other members of the group with regard to each member's contributions
to the project.  I will keep these grades and comments confidential.
Later, if a student wishes to contest a poor grade, I will type up the
team's responses and share them with the student, without revealing
who wrote each comment.  This grading procedure helps to ensure that
students are contributing as equally as possible to the preparation
and teaching of their topic.

Consider the following questions when developing your teaching
outline: How will we engage the class in the topic?  How will students
participate?  How will students ask questions? How will students
interact with one another? How will the information taught be useful
to the class in the future?  Remember, this project is not only about
the topic itself, but also the manner in which it is taught.

Additionally, on the day you teach, each group is required to provide
a resource packet for each student in the class including an outline,
relevant handouts, and references for future study.  In sum, your
packet should not only summarize your teaching project but also direct
your peers to other useful sources for information on the topic.

Each group can choose from the following topics:

Creative teaching methods	Conflict resolution	Parent-teacher
Classroom management  		Gender issues		Motivation
Inclusion				Multicultural issues	

[Note: I am open to other topics, as long as they are cleared with me
in advance.]

Expectations of Written Work:
* There should be no spelling mistakes.  Use spell check.  Also, have
someone read through it and check for any mistakes that the
spellchecker may have missed (e.g., "form" instead "from").
* Use words correctly.  If you are not sure that the word you are
using is correct, check with your dictionary.
* Avoid using slang (e.g., "It was such a cool experience"),
conversational speech (e.g., "I kinda liked that"), and colloquialisms
(e.g., "It was real good to find this out").
* Papers not meeting the above criteria will be penalized.  For
example, several spelling mistakes on a one- to two-page paper may
result in the drop of two whole letter grades.
[Note: For help at any stage of the writing process (e.g.,
brainstorming or editing), contact the Writing Tutorial Services at
855-6738 to set up an appointment.]

Class Participation and Attendance (70 points): You are strongly
encouraged to actively participate in this class. This means that you
come prepared by having read and completed assigned materials, ask
questions, make comments, and reflect aloud.  You will need this from
your students one day-SO ENGAGE!

Also, because it is often difficult for me to objectively assess your
participation, each of you will be responsible for grading your own
participation in this class.  Questions for you to consider when
thinking about this matter are: Do I come to class prepared by having
read the assigned articles?  Do I offer my thoughts and feelings
during class discussions?  Have I helped to create an open and safe
learning environment?

Finally, as is apparent in the course title, this class is all about
communication.  Accordingly, much of the value of this course lies in
what we can communicate together in class.  Therefore, attendance in
class is required.  However, because I realize that "things come up,"
you will be allotted two absences without need for an excuse.  With
each additional absence, I reserve the right to deduct 10 points from
your participation grade.

Policy on Late Work: All assignments will be collected at the
beginning of class on the day they are due.  Late work (i.e., work
that is not submitted at the beginning of class) will only be accepted
within a 24-hour grace period and will be reduced by a full-grade.
After the 24-hour grace period, late work will NOT be accepted.

Extra Credit Option (25 points): You have the opportunity to create
your own extra credit assignment for this course.  The topic and
design of the assignment must be cleared with me and is due no later
than Friday, June 8th at 5pm.  This is your chance to think about and
construct a project or paper related to teaching with which you are
passionate.  I expect this work to be of high quality and reflect both
critical thinking as well as hard work.

Required Assignments:
Identity Collage				  30 pts.			
Weekly Journals (25 pts x 5 entries)  125 pts.
Collaborative Inquiry and Teaching Project	120 pts.
Class Participation	 70 pts.
Total		345 pts.

Grading Scale:

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%  and below


Date		Topic					
May 9  Orientation and Community Building

May 11  Community Building and Discussion of the Morse Article
Reading: Philip S. Morse, A survey of college students' reactions*

May 14  Identity Collages and the Process of Community Building
Reading: Nicholas, Sacra Nevaire Community-building in the classroom*
Assignments Due: Journal #1 and Identity Collage

May 16  Empathy, Genuineness, and Unconditional Positive Regard
Reading: Rogers, The interpersonal relationship in the facilitation of


May 18  Attending, Questioning, and a Guest Speaker
Readings: 1) Morse & Ivey, The basics of communication
	    2) Morse & Ivey, Questioning skills and effective teaching

May 21  Reflecting Content, Reflecting Feeling, and Paraphrasing
Reading: 1) Morse & Ivey, Reflecting and the basic listening sequence
Assignment Due: Journal #2


May 23  Feedback, Reframing and Self-Disclosure
Readings: 1) Neil J. Cooper, Facilitating learning from formative
feedback *
2) Theodore A. Chandler, Use of reframing as a classroom strategy*
3) Judith Deiro, Teacher strategies for nurturing healthy
connections with


May 30  The Classroom as a Group and In-Class Film
Readings: 1) Locke & Ciechalski, The teacher and group situations
Assignment Due: Journal #3

June 1  In-Class Film continued and Class Discussion

June 4  rejudice and Stereotypes	
Reading: Suzyn Ornstein & Daniel Sankowsky, Overcoming stereotyping
and prejudice*
Assignment Due: Journal #4

June 6  In-Class Film and Class Discussion

June 8  Collaborative Teaching Projects

June 11  Collaborative Teaching Projects
	Assignment Due: Journal #5

June 13  Course wrap-up and saying good-bye
Optional Reading: Carolyn P. Egri & Ken S. Keleman, Breaking up is
hard to do*