Education | Communication in the Classroom
G203 | 5678 | Dr. Amy Heesacker
"Healthy and effective communication is one of the most important
skills in teaching. Success will depend not only on how well you
listen, but also how well you communicate your thoughts and feelings
to the students, parents of the students, other teachers,
administrators, and all other individuals who are actively concerned
with the school. Communication skills are as basic as driving a car.
You need to know how to start and stop. In between starting and
stopping, one needs to know when to accelerate, when to put on the
brakes, and how to keep the vehicle on course." (p. 164-165)
-Excerpt from Communication in the Healthy Classroom, by Raymond
In this course we will study communication from an educational
perspective with the goal of helping you become a more effective
teacher. Throughout the course we will be concerned with the
overriding themes of community, diversity and the mastery and
application of basic communication skills. Among the specific topics
we will cover are: the relationship between community and
communication, communicating in the multicultural classroom,
communicative attitudes, the microskills of communication,
communicating effectively with parents and professionals, gender and
communication, students with disabilities, and how communication
promotes safety and resolution of conflicts.
The course goals will be met by means of discussion, demonstration,
practice, readings, observation, field experience, written reflection,
a group project and examination. Attendance and active participation
is crucial! You are encouraged to take responsibility for your own
and others' education.
"Just as mastery for the Samurai required practice of each skill of
swordsmanship until learning was honed to a fine point, your mastery
level will depend on your interest and your ability to learn each
concept well." (p. 8)
--Excerpt from Face to Face: Communication and Conflict Resolution in
the Schools, by Philip S. Morse and Allen E. Ivey
Class Dates/Schedule of Topics, Readings and Journal Entries
Tues Sept 3 Introduction
Thurs Sept 5 Topic: Community Building (locating Field Experience
Tues Sept 10 Topic: The Healthy Classroom
Optional Reading for Today: Nakamura, Ch. 1
Journal Due Today: "My greatest fear of becoming a teacher"
Thurs Sept 12 Topic: The Healthy Teacher
Optional Reading for Today: Nakamura, Ch. 2
Tues Sept 17 Topic: Communicative Attitudes
Required Reading for Today: Rogers Chapter (see website above)
Journal Due Today: "My favorite teacher…and Why!"
Thurs Sept 19 Topic: Communicative Skill-Attending
Required Reading for Today: Morse & Ivey, Ch. 2
Tues Sept 24 Topic: Communicative Skill-Questioning
Required Reading for Today: Morse & Ivey, Ch. 3
Journal Due Today: "A time I was heard/not heard & the impact"
Thurs Sept 26 Topic: Communicative Skill-Reflecting
Required Reading for Today: Morse & Ivey, Ch. 4
Tues Oct 1 Topic: Communicative Skill-Feedback, Info & Interpretation
Required Reading for Today-Morse & Ivey, Ch. 6 (not 5!)
Journal Due Today: "I really heard someone when…"
Thurs Oct 3 Topic: Communicative Skill-Self-Disclosure & Confrontation
(Still Morse & Ivey, Ch. 6)
Due Today: Paper 1 "Transcript from BLS Conversation"
Tues Oct 8 Topic: The Helping Process (lecture)
Journal Due Today: "A child's perspective on teachers"
Thurs Oct 10 Topic: Conflict Resolution
Optional Reading for Today: Nakamura, Ch. 8
Tues Oct 15 Review for Midterm-Connecting Skills and Attitudes
Journal Due Today: "How I'd like to be remembered as a teacher"
Thurs Oct 17 Midterm Exam
Tues Oct 22 Topic: Discipline in the Healthy Classroom
Optional Reading for Today: Nakamura, Ch. 10
Journal Due Today: "My thoughts on discipline"
Thurs Oct 24 Topic: Assessing Children's Problems (lecture)
*Paper 2 plan must be approved by this date
Tues Oct 29 Topic: Communicating with Parents
Required Reading for Today: Kottler chapter (see website above)
Journal Due Today: "What a parent said about teacher conferences…the
good, the bad, the ideal!"
Thurs Oct 31 Topic: Gender and Communication
Required Reading for Today: Sadker chapter (see website above)
Tues Nov 5 Topic: The Multicultural Classroom
Required Reading for Today: Nieto chapter (see website above)
Journal Due Today: "Good Questions for the Multicultural Panel" ---At
least five questions…does not have to be 1-2 pages this week
*Remember to Vote!
Thurs Nov 7 Guest Speaker: Multicultural Panel
Group Presentation date & topic must be approved by this date
Tues Nov 12 Guest Speaker: Office for Students with Disabilities
Journal Due Today: "An experience with a person with a disability"
Thurs Nov 14 Group Presentation Preparation Day
(*Should not be the first day you are meeting together to prepare!)
Due Today: Paper 2 "Minority Report"-Your self-reflection after
attending an event/meeting where you were a "minority."
Tues Nov 19 Group Presentation Preparation Day
Due by end of class today: Handwritten outline of presentation
Final Journal Due Today: "The experiences I still want to have to be
the kind of teacher I want to be!"
Thurs Nov 21 Group Presentation: Group #1
Tues Nov 26 Group Presentation: Group #2
Thurs Nov 28 Happy Thanksgiving! (no class)
Tues Dec 3 Group Presentation: Group #3
Thurs Dec 5 Group Presentation: Group #4
Tues Dec 10 Group Presentation: Group #5
Thurs Dec 12 Conclusions
Attendance/Late Assignment Policy:
As noted earlier, your attendance in this class is crucial to meeting
the course goals. Each student is allowed three absences without
penalty. Beginning with the forth absence your grade will be reduced
by 1/3 of a letter grade for each absence. For example, a student who
has an overall B average and misses four classes will have their grade
reduced to a B-; five absences C+, etc. Excused absences will be
determined on an individual basis and will require documentation.
If you must miss a class it is your responsibility to get information
about the next journal entry topic and/or turn in anything that is
due. Please contact me by e-mail if you know that you are going to
miss a class so that we can make prior arrangements. Late assignments
(i.e., journal entries, papers) will not be accepted if you have not
made arrangements with me beforehand.
Assignments, Activities and Evaluation:
1)Participation (5%) Your active involvement in discussions and
communication practice activities is necessary for your learning as
well as your classmates' learning. Arrive on time having read the
assigned reading and be prepared to talk.
2)Journal (15%) A short (1-2 pages) journal entry will be handed in
each Tuesday and will consist of assigned reflection/interview topics
assigned. I prefer that your journals are typed separate sheets (no
notebooks). See schedule for topics.
3) Midterm Exam (15%) The midterm will be held on Thursday, October 17
and will assess your knowledge of the communicative attitudes and
skills covered in the first part of the course. More information
about the test will be provided later.
4) Papers There will be three papers required in this course. Paper 1
(5%) is due Thursday, October 3, Paper 2 (5%) is due Thursday,
November 14 (plan for Paper 2 must be approved by Thurs Oct 24), and
the Final Paper (20%) is due on our final exam date. The topics for
all of the papers will be explained in greater detail later. In order
to be accepted all papers must be completed on time with
double-spacing, 12-point font, and 1-inch margins.
5) Field Experience (20%) This important component of the course will
allow you to do some outside-the-classroom learning about "real-world"
communication. You will be choosing volunteer activities with
school-aged children in the community. Specific directions for this
experience will be provided at a later date.
6) Collaborative Teaching and Inquiry (15%) This will be a group
project in which you will be asked to research a topic related to some
aspect of communication in the classroom or community and
teach/present the topic to the rest of the class. Each group will set
up a time to talk with the instructor about their topic and
presentation by Thursday, November 7. Grades will be assigned on an
individual basis based on contribution to and quality of the project.
Paper 1 5%
Paper 2 5%
Final Paper 20%
Field Exp. 20%
Group Project 15%
F > 59%