Education | Communication in the Classroom
G203 | 5863 | Jennifer Bouwkamp
As the instructor of this course, I reserve the right to make changes
to the syllabus as needed. I will inform students of any changes at
the earliest date possible in class or via e-mail.
Because communication is pervasive and often taken for granted, it is
also easy to forget its importance. Communication consists of far
more than the words we use. Everything we do and say (or do not do
and say) communicates to others; therefore, being able to convey and
receive messages accurately is an important life skill.
Communication is a big subject, and there are many ways to study it.
In this course, we will explore communication from the point of view
of education. As future teachers, you will be responsible for
communicating with your students, their families, and colleagues and
supervisors, thus it is essential that you are able to understand and
interpret the verbal and nonverbal messages of others.
In this course, you will learn and actively practice specific
listening and communication skills. In addition, different aspects
of classroom communication will be covered, including: community-
building, classroom management, diversity, and conflict resolution.
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; and how
can teachers communicate effectively with students and parents?
We will pursue these topics and 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. This semester, you are encouraged to
inquire, participate, take risks, and take responsibility for your
own and others’ learning.
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 themselves as communicators by
reflecting on their perceptions and analyzing their methods of
3.Students will better understand messages of communication in the
classroom by practicing listening skills and attitudes.
4.Students will develop and enhance important teaching skills and
attitudes by reading, discussing, writing, and teaching a lesson to
5.Students will reflect upon classroom discussions, readings, and
personal experiences in a way that promotes personal and professional
Oncourse is an online educational environment where you will submit
your written work, email me or other students, monitor your grades
for assignments and receive any important announcements regarding the
class. Please become familiar with how Oncourse works. This can be
done by spending 20-30 minutes browsing the system. Oncourse is
accessible via the Indiana University homepage, under the “Popular
Sites” drop-down menu. Log in and be sure to indicate that you want
to be “listed” for our class. You may create a profile for yourself
and/or submit a picture, if you wish. I recommend that you enable
the email notification feature which will send a message to your
regular IU email account letting you know when you have Oncourse mail
waiting for you. Becoming comfortable with Oncourse is an extremely
important part of our course and keeps us organized and in contact
with one another. Please let me know if you have any trouble using
this system during the semester.
Much of the value of this course lies in what we communicate together
in class, therefore your presence and contributions are important.
Moreover, consistent attendance and punctuality demonstrate quality
teacher practices. For these reasons, regular attendance is expected
and will be taken at the beginning of each class. If you miss class,
it is your responsibility to reach me or another student to obtain
materials missed. You are allowed two absences without need for an
excuse. Each unexcused absence, after the first two, will result in
the course grade being lessened by a half letter grade, or a loss of
An excused absence for health reasons must be accompanied by a
doctor’s note. Personal loss or bereavement is also grounds for an
excused absence, in consultation with the instructor. If a student
comes to class late and misses roll call, it is the student’s
responsibility to approach me at the end of the class and ensure that
s/he was not marked absent. Failure to do this at the time will not
be rectified later. If you must leave class early, please notify me
of this before class starts.
Religious Holidays: Indiana University’s Religious Holy
Days/Holidays policy (www.indiana.edu/~deanfac/holidays.html)
outlines the procedures students should follow in requesting an
accommodation for missing exams or other academic exercises because
of a required religious observance. If you have a conflict with an
exam or assignment for this reason, please inform me early in the
semester after completing the form to request accommodations at
•To be submitted via Oncourse in the appropriate dropbox, under
the “In Touch” tab. If you have trouble uploading your document to
the Oncourse dropbox, print it out, and bring it with you to class on
the specified due date.
•Double-spaced and in Times New Roman, black font, size 12.
•Paragraphs and margins must be standard (1” or 1.25”).
•Use of spell-check means there should be no spelling errors! Have
someone else read your paper to catch mistakes that do not show up on
spell-check (e.g., “form” instead of “from”).
•Use words correctly. Check with a dictionary if you are unsure.
•No contractions, such as, “don’t,” “can’t,” “wouldn’t,” etc.
Instead, write out, “do not,” “cannot,” “would not,” etc.
•Avoid slang (e.g., “She was so cool.”), 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 heavily penalized.
For example, several spelling errors on a two-page paper may result
in a drop of two whole letter grades, or more.
•For additional help with writing, take advantage of the Writing
Tutorial Services (WTS) at http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/wts/home.html,
*Policy on Late Work:
All assignments must be submitted to the appropriate Oncourse dropbox
by the beginning of class on the day they are due. Late work (i.e.,
work that is not submitted by the beginning of class) will only be
accepted within a 24-hour grace period and will be reduced by a full
letter grade, regardless of reason for lateness. After the 24-hour
grace period, late work will NOT be accepted. The Oncourse dropboxes
will close at the end of this 24-hour grace period for each
* Cell Phone/Pager Policy:
When class begins, please turn your cell phone and/or pager to the
off or mute position. Loud beeps, sounds, songs, and rings from
these devices are extremely disruptive to our educational
environment. I do understand that emergencies can occur, so if you
are expecting to be contacted during our class time, please advise me
of this before class, turn your volume to ‘low’ or vibrate, and seat
yourself near the exit of the room, so you can be excused without
disturbing the class. I appreciate your adherence to this policy.
Breakdown of Graded Assignments:
Assignment:Total Possible Points:
Identity collage 25
Written assignments (6 x 25 pts.)150
Midterm exam 50
Collaborative Inquiry and Teaching Project 50
In-class quizzes (6 x 25 pts.)150
Final exam 50
A+ = 100%
A = 94-99%
A- = 90-93%
B+ = 87-89%
B = 84-86%
B- = 80-83%
C+ = 77-79%
C = 74-76%
C- = 70-73%
D+ = 67-69%
D = 64-66%
D- = 60-63%
Description of Graded Assignments:
As part of our community-building activities, you will be responsible
for designing a collage on a regular-sized posterboard, 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, but are not
limited to, in your collage are: family history, cultural background,
unique characteristics, accomplishments, career goals, and values.
If you choose to bring in additional items (e.g., favorite book),
which will not fit on your poster, you are welcome to do so. In
class, on September 10, you will present your collage (and additional
items if you have them) to the class.
Throughout the semester, you will be asked to write eight short
papers differing in style and topic. Specific questions/directions
for each paper are located under the “Schedule” tab on Oncourse.
Each of the eight papers should follow the written work requirements
previously described. Due dates for the papers are listed in the
course schedule and below. As previously stated, papers are to be
submitted to the appropriate dropbox on Oncourse by the beginning of
class on the due date listed. Again, in the event that you have
trouble uploading your document, print it out and bring it to class
with you on the specified due date
1. Teacher Qualities paper – due September 15
2. Power and Influence paper - due September 29
3. Skills Self-Rating paper - due October 13
4. Group Experiences paper - due October 27.
5. Resistances paper – due November 7
6. Working with Parents paper - due November 19
The midterm examination will be on October 20. Test questions will
be comprised of course reading material, course lecture, videos,
information obtained from guest lecturers and class discussions.
Exam format will be multiple-choice and short-answer items. We will
have an in-class review session on October 15. Please bring
questions with you to class that day.
*Collaborative Inquiry and Teaching Project:
All students will participate in a 4-5 member inquiry and teaching
team. Each team will research an education topic not covered in this
course and teach it to the class in a 30-35 minute lesson. You will
find detailed information about this assignment under the “Schedule”
tab on Oncourse. I will inform you of your group assignments later
in the semester.
To promote critical reflection of course readings and assignments,
you will be asked to complete several 10-15 minute quizzes throughout
the semester. These quizzes will be unannounced and will help to
ensure completion and understanding of the course material. You will
have 7 quizzes. The lowest quiz grade will be dropped for final
grade calculations. You will not be able to make-up quizzes if you
The final examination will be on December 17 from 10:15am-12:15pm.
Questions will be comprised of course reading material, course
lecture, videos, information obtained from guest lecturers and
material discussed in class since the midterm exam. Exam format will
be multiple-choice and short-answer items. We will have an in-class
review session on December 10. Please bring questions with you to
class that day.
Date/Topic/Reading due/Assignment due
~Introduction and Community-Building~
M 9/1 Orientation/Syllabus
W 9/3 Community-Building/Syllabus Quiz
M 9/8 NO CLASS
W 9/10 Community-Building/Morse & Barnett (1994)
Nicholas (1997) Identity Collage
~Theories, Attitudes and Beliefs~
M 9/15 Introduction to communication in education/Pearson & Nelson
(1991, ch.1 & 3)/Teacher Qualities paper
W 9/17 Empathy and genuineness/Rogers (1983)
M 9/22 Respect and unconditional positive regard/Locke & Ciechalski
W 9/24 Power and influence/Levin & Nelson (2000, pp. 75-81)
Morse & Ivey (1996, ch. 6)
~Basic Communication Skills~
M 9/29 Attending and questioning/Hill & O’Brien (1999)
Morse & Ivey (1996, ch.3)/Power and Influence paper
W 10/1 Paraphrasing and reflection of content and feeling/Morse &
Ivey (1996, ch.4)
M 10/6 Reframing/Chandler (1998)
W 10/8 Feedback and self-disclosure/Kohn (2001)
M 10/13 Group skills and leading a classroom discussion Cooper &
Locke & Ciechalski (1995, ch.6) Skills Self-Rating paper
W 10/15 Catch-up day and midterm review game/Bring questions
M 10/20 MIDTERM
W 10/22 Return of exams and introduction to diversity/Weber (1992)
M 10/27 Race/Tatum (1997)
McIntosh (2000) Group Experiences paper
W 10/29 Gender/ Sadker, Sadker, & Long (1997)
M 11/3 Sexual orientation/McFarland & Dupuis (2001)
Robinson & Ferfolja (2001)
W 11/5 Socioeconomic status and poverty Payne (2003)
M 11/10 Mental and physical disabilities/Havens (1992)/Resistances
~Applications of Concepts/Skills~
W 11/12 Working with parents – Why?/Gestwicki (2000, ch.5)
Bey & Turner (1996, ch.6)
M 11/17 Working with parents – How?/Kottler & Kottler (2000)
Gestwicki (2000, ch.6)
W 11/19 Classroom management and discipline/Levin & Nelson (2000,
Nakamura (2000) Working with Parents paper
M 11/24 Conflict resolution/Junod (2002)
Johnson & Johnson (2000)
Bey & Turner (1996, ch.3)
W 11/26 NO CLASS - THANKSGIVING
M 12/1 Presentations – groups 1 and 2
W 12/3 Presentations – groups 3 and 4
M 12/8 Presentations – groups 5 and 6
W 12/10 Final exam review game, course evaluations, and semester wrap-
up Egri & Keteman (1996)/Bring questions
W 12/17 FINAL EXAM – 10:15am-12:15pm
Students with Disabilities: Students with visual, hearing, physical,
and/or learning disabilities, which may require modification of
curriculum, instruction, or assessment, should contact me. 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 from Disabled
Student Services (DSS). Please see the Handbook for Students with
Disabilities for eligibility requirements.
Academic Misconduct: Cheating, plagiarism, sexual harassment,
racial/ethnic/sexual orientation discrimination, 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 that s/he has been the victim of harassment, 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.
Required Reading: (in reading packet available at T.I.S.Bookstore,
3rd and Jordan)
Morse, P.S., & Barnett, M.F. (1994). A survey of college students’
reactions to their K-12 teachers and schools. Education, 115, 133-
Nicolas, S.N. (1997). Community-building in the classroom: A
process. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education, and
Development, 35, 198-298.
Pearson, J., & Nelson, P.B. (1991). The nature of communication.
Understanding and sharing: An introduction to speech communication,
6th edition, pp. 4-22. Dubuque, IA: William C. Brown Publishers.
Pearson, J., & Nelson, P.B. (1991). Self-awareness and self-concept:
Understanding yourself. Understanding and sharing: An introduction
to speech communication, 6th edition, pp. 44-57. William C. Brown
Rogers, C.R. (1983). The interpersonal relationship in the
facilitation of learning. Freedom to learn, for the 80’s. pp. 119-
134. Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill.
Locke, D.C., & Ciechalski, J.C. (1995). Communication techniques for
teachers. Psychological techniques for teachers, pp.33-47.
Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Francis.
Levin, G., & Nelson, J. (2000). Philosophical approaches to
classroom management. Principles of classroom management: A
professional decision-making model, 3rd edition, pp.72-94.
Morse, P.S., & Ivey, A.E. (1996). Seven influencing skills. Face to
face: Communication and conflict resolution in schools, pp. 52-59.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
Hill, C., & O’Brien, K.M. (1999). Attending and listening.
Facilitating exploration, insight, and action, pp. 81-95. Washington
DC: American Psychological Association.
Morse, P.S., & Ivey, A.E. (1996). Questioning skills and effective
teaching. In Face to face: Communication and conflict resolution in
schools, pp. 20-30. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
Morse, P.S., & Ivey, A.E. (1996). Reflecting and the basic listening
sequence: Entering the world of the other. In Face to face:
Communication and conflict resolution in schools, pp. 32-43.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
Chandler, T.A. (1998). Use of reframing as a classroom strategy.
Education, 119, 365-369.
Kohn, A. (2001). Five reasons to stop saying, “good job!” Retrieved
Johnson, D.W. (2003). Self-disclosure. Reaching out: Interpersonal
effectiveness and self-actualization, 8th edition, pp. 39-65, 89-90.
Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Cooper, P.J., & Simmonds, C. (1999). Small group communication.
Communication for the classroom teacher, 7th edition, pp. 173-192.
Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Locke, D.C., & Ciechalski, J.C. (1995). The teacher and group
situations. Psychological techniques for teachers, pp. 97-110.
Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Francis.
Weber, A. (1992). Prejudice and discrimination. Social psychology,
pp. 198-212. NY: Harper Collins.
Nieto, S. (2000). Multicultural education in practice. Affirming
diversity: The sociopolitical context of multicultural education, pp.
349-370. New York: Longman.
Tatum, B.D. (1997). Embracing a cross-racial dialogue: “We were
struggling for the words.” “Why are all the black kids sitting
together in the cafeteria?” and other conversations about race, pp.
193-206. New York: Basic Books.
McIntosh, P. (2001). White privilege: Unpacking the invisible
knapsack. In V. Cyrus (Ed.), Experiencing race, class, and gender in
the United States, 3rd edition, pp. 209-213. Mountain View, CA:
Sadker, M., Sadker, D., & Long, L. (1997). Gender and educational
equality. In J. Banks, & C. McGee Banks (Eds.), Multicultural
education: Issues and perspectives, pp. 131-149. Boston: Allyn &
Stein, N. (1995). Sexual harassment in school: The public
performance of gendered violence. Harvard Educational Review, 65,
McFarland, W.P., & Dubuis, M. (2001). The legal duty to protect gay
and lesbian students from violence in school. Professional School
Counseling, 4, 171-178.
Robinson, K.H., & Ferfolja, T. (2001). “What are we doing this
for?”: Dealing with lesbian and gay issues in teacher education.
British Journal of Sociology of Education, 22.
Payne, R.K. (2003). A framework for understanding poverty, 3rd
edition. Highlands, TX: aha! Process, Inc.
Havens, M. (1992). Starting with yourself. Bridges to
accessibility: A primer for understanding persons with disabilities
in adventure curricula, pp. 59-63. Hamilton, PA: Kordall Hunt.
Gestwicki, C. (2000). Benefits of teacher-family partnerships for
children, parents, and teachers. Home, school, and community
relations, 4th edition, pp.121-139. NY: Delman-Thompson Learning.
Bey, T.M. & Turner, G.Y. (1996). Working with parents. Making school
a place of peace, pp. 93-97. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Kottler, J.A., & Kottler, E. (2000). Communicating with parents.
Counseling skills for teachers, pp. 90-109. Thousand Oaks, CA:
Corwin Press, Inc.
Gestwicki, C. (2000). Potential barriers to teacher-family
partnerships. Home, school, and community relations, 4th edition,
pp. 141-160. NY: Delman-Thompson Learning.
Nakamura, R.M. (2000). Discipline: Rules, consequences, and
controlling the physical environment. Healthy classroom management:
Motivation, communication, and discipline, pp. 238-269. Belmont, CA:
Wadsworth Thomson Learning.
Junod, T. (October, 2002). The terrible boy. Esquire, 156-175.
Johnson, D., & Johnson, P. (2000). Managing conflicts of interest.
Joining together: Group therapy and group skills, 7th edition, pp.
400-420. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Bey, T.M., & Turner, G.Y. (1996). Encouraging peaceful
communication. Making school a place of peace, pp.34-51. Thousand
Oaks, CA: Sage.
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.