Education | Communication In the Classroom
F203 | 5119 | Ellisen Masters
Syllabus disclaimer: 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
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
"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? 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. 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. To learn to do this more
effectively is the practical and empowering tool you may acquire.
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
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
By actively participating in this course, you will, among other
1. acquire tools which will help you communicate more effectively.
2. think specifically about communication in the classroom
3. think about particular topics relevant to educational environments
1. 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.
2. Text: Morse, P. S., & Ivey, A. E. (1996). Face to face:
Communication and conflict resolution in the schools. Thousand Oaks,
CA: Corwin Press. (should be at either TIS or IU Bookstore)
3. Course reading packet (available at Collegiate Copies on 3rd St.,
near Mother Bear's Pizza)
4. 1 VHS videotape per collaborative inquiry group
1. Attendance: Attendance in class is required and 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 and will affect your grade (see below).
It is your responsibility to reach the instructor and obtain materials
missed. You will not receive credit nor be able to make up points for
or the experience of in-class assignments and activities. Also,
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. I reserve the right to introduce penalties for
lateness if it becomes a problem! In addition to these practical
reasons for good attendance and punctuality, these are qualities that
demonstrate necessary and appropriate teacher practices, which you
will be expected to demonstrate someday.
Attendance policy: Each student is allowed three absences, regardless
of reason, so use them sparingly. Beginning with the fourth absence,
your grade will be reduced by 1/3 of a letter grade for each absence.
Example: A student who has a final overall grade of a B, but misses 4
classes, will receive a final grade of B-; five absences, C+; six
absences, C; seven, C-; and so on.
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 and 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. Because participation
is so important to the format of this class (i.e.,
discussion-oriented), it will make up 10% of your final grade.
Students who do not participate in class (i.e., discussing the
readings, practicing skills, etc.) will have their participation grade
lowered accordingly. Attendance is related in that you cannot be
participating if you are absent from class; keep this is mind! You
will need/expect the same from your students someday, so engage and be
3. Assignments: ALL assignments (excluding in-class work) are to be
TYPED and turned in at the beginning of the assigned class. Format of
typed of assignments: Times New Roman, 12 font, one-inch margins.
Hand-written work will not be accepted. The general 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 and
are collected at the BEGINNING of class. Late assignments will be
penalized 5% after class has begun and for each day thereafter.
ASSIGNMENTS, ACTIVITIES, AND EVALUATION PROCEDURES
1. Identity Collage: Extra credit!! 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 at our second or third class
meetings of the semester. Those who create a collage will receive 5
extra credit points, which will be applied to your final grade.
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 January 16.
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 had treated you in a special way. 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 (same length as above option)
entitled "(your name): My Favorite Teacher." Include characteristics
that you want your students to remember about you. Think about what
your "mission statement" and goals are as a future educator. What do
you hope to hear former students saying about you?
3. Minor Assignments (M1, M2, etc.): (the exact number that you are
required to do will be discussed in class; you may have a choice as to
which readings/videos you cover)
For Readings: For selected assigned readings, you will be required to
complete a brief "reading reflection." 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. Any questions you have about the topic/article can
be included in these reflections as well as brought up in class
discussion for everyone to consider. These should not take much more
than 20 minutes (in addition to the reading time) to complete and
should be one-half to one page in length. Format should follow that
For videos: We will have several in-class videos this semester. For
each video, you are required to write a short (1-2 page) "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? Again, these are to be
reflections of your thoughts and opinion, NOT a summary of the film.
Summaries will not be accepted.
For Group Presentations: Each student will be required to write one
evaluation of a collaborative inquiry/teaching project group's
presentation. Details will be provided on this requirement later in
4. Video Analysis: see pages following syllabus for detailed
5. Mid-term Examination: You are required to take the mid-term
examination on Thursday, February 22. 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.
6. Collaborative Inquiry and Teaching: see pages following syllabus
for a detailed description.
7. Final Exam: You are required to write a final reflection paper
about the course. This paper is to be four to five 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?
You may address expectations of the course 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?
NOTE: 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 picture?
Collaborative Group 25 % - 150 pts.
Final Paper 20 % - 120 pts.
Mid-term Exam 20 % - 120 pts.
M Assignments 15 % - 90 pts.
Video analysis 10 % - 60 pts.
Import. Teacher Qualities 5 % - 30 pts.
Participation 5 % - 30 pts.
F 59% or below
Identity collage is worth 5 extra credit points, added to your final
Note: If you prefer, you may turn in assignments with your social
security number/student ID 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 skills.
Another note: There are four required M assignments, which are worth
15 points each for a total of 60 points. You will pick six out of the
remaining 11 possible M assignments; each will be worth 5 points
(total of 30 points). These two "types" of M assignments add up to
the grand total of 90 points or 15% of your grade.
Tentative Schedule of Readings/Assignments
Date Topic Assignment/Readings Due
Jan. 9 Orientation and Community Building
Jan. 11 Community Building (continued) Identity collage
Jan. 16 Community Building (cont.) Morse, 1994; Identity
collage; Teacher Qualities
Jan. 18 Challenges Facing Teachers & GRE Kottler & Kottler (p.
1-11); Rogers, 1969;
Nakamura, p.14-26; M1 due
Jan. 23 Communicative Skills Nakamura, p. 164-187;
Could you just listen
( poem); Morse & Ivey, ch.
2; M2 due
Jan. 25 Communicative Skills (cont.) Morse & Ivey, ch. 3, 4, 6;
Jan. 30 Practice day
Feb. 1 Movie: The Lion's Den
Feb. 6 The Lion's Den (cont.)
Feb. 8 Non-Verbal Communication Hurt, ch. 6; M4 due(movie)
Feb. 13 Person-first language Handouts; Nakamura, p. 22,
310-320; M5 due
Feb. 15 Movie: Reality Therapy in Handout
Feb. 20 Review for Mid-Term M6 due (movie)
Feb. 22 Mid-Term Examination
Feb. 27 Stereotypes Handouts; articles in
reader; M7 due
Mar. 1 Cross-Cultural Communication Nieto; "Indian Father's
Cultures…"; TBA M8 due
Mar. 6 Cross-Cultural Communication (cont.)(cont.)
Mar. 8 Home-School-Community Handouts; Nakamura,
Collaboration; and school funding (video) p. 39-52; M9 due
Mar. 13/15 SPRING BREAK Have fun!!
Mar. 20 Mental Health day Video analysis due
Mar. 22 Parent-Teacher conferences Kottler & Kottler, ch. 6;
Gestwicki, p. 237-268;
Handouts; M10 due
Mar. 27 Parent-Teacher conferences (cont.) (cont.)
Mar. 29 Guest lecture
Apr. 3 Group Communication Locke & Ciechalski, pp.
97-114; Kottler & Kottler,
pp. 85-88; M11 due
Apr. 5 Gender issues Renzetti & Curran, pp.
75-88; M12 due
Apr. 10 Sexual Harassment Stein; M13 due
Apr. 12 Movie: It's Elementary Handout
Apr. 17 Collaborative Inquiry/Teaching M14 due (movie)
Apr. 19 Collaborative Inquiry/Teaching Group #3 eval. of #1 due
Apr. 24 Collaborative Inquiry/Teaching Group #1 eval. of #2 due
Apr. 26 Review/Course evaluations; BE IN CLASS!! Group #2
discussion eval. of #3 due