Education | Communication in the Classroom
F203 | 5128 | Steven 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.

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:

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, written reflection,
and examination. 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.

Internet and E-mail Access Required:

In an effort to simplify the grading process, your marks (along with
written feedback) will be provided to you via a web-based system
called OnCourse.  To access this website, go to
We will spend some time early in the semester helping you to get
acquainted with this system.
Also, you should check your email regularly, as important course
information is sometimes sent from your instructor.
Reserved Readings:

Locke, D.C., & Ciechalski, J.C. (1995). Communication techniques for
teachers. Psychological Techniques for Teachers, (pp. 33-47).
Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Francis.

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.

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.

Rogers, C. R.  (1986).  Reflection of feelings.  Person-Centered
Review, 1, 375-377.

Modes of Evaluation/Assignments and Classroom Activities: ALL PAPERS

Identity Collage (25 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, but are not
limited to in your collage: family history, birthplace, unique
characteristics, accomplishments, and career goals.  Also, you are
welcome to bring in additional items (e.g., favorite book or favorite
instrument), which will not fit on your poster.  In class, on January
16, you will present your collage (and additional items if you have
them) to the class.

Reflection Papers (10 points per assignment):

Reading Reflections (RR-1 to RR-10): Whenever there is an assigned
reading for a class, students must write a brief assignment. These are
to be reactions to the readings, where you reflect on how the reading
is applicable to the teaching you will soon be doing when you
graduate. It should include your reflective thoughts about the
article, and should NOT be a summary of the article. These reflections
should be from one-half to no more than one full page typed. There are
10 reading reflections, as listed on the course schedule.  Though
there are 10 of these listed, you are only responsible for turning in
only 5 of them. Extra credit will not be given for turning in more
than 5. Students have the option of deciding which ones they will turn
in.  Also, on days when you do not turn in a reading reflection, you
are to come to class with at least three discussion questions related
to the reading.

In-class Film Reflections (FR-1 to FR-3): There are three in-class
films throughout the semester. A half to one-page reflection paper is
due on the day following any class film. The purpose of this is to
have the student reflect on the film and how they see the concepts
relating to the classroom and their role as a future teacher. Was the
film important to you? What about it, specifically, was good or bad?
How did it affect you? Though 3 of these are assigned, students are
only responsible for turning in 2 of them. Extra credit will not be
given for turning in more than 2. Students have the option of deciding
which ones they will turn in.

Field Experience (Journal Entries—15 points per entry): As part of
this course, you will be expected to observe and practice the skills
that you learn in class, in other environments.  As a means to explore
and practice these skills in alternative settings, you will be given
the opportunity to participate in one of the following activities.  In
addition, you will be responsible for keeping a journal to record your
experiences in the field.  A total of five journal entries are due and
they should be one to two pages in length.  Due dates for the journal
entries will be announced later in the semester.

Service-Learning Experience: Students who choose this option will be
asked to provide their services for a total of 10 hours at a selected
site.  Service learning is similar to community service with the
exception that service learning requires students to closely attend to
and reflect upon their experiences in order to better understand and
apply the skills provided in class.

Environmental Observations: Students who choose this option will be
asked to provide their services for a total of 10 hours, observing
people in social interactions (e.g., in the mall or at the library).
Unlike the service-learning experience, students choosing this option
will be less likely to practice classroom skills in the field, as they
will be primarily concerned with observing others.

Mid-Term Examination (50 points): There is a required mid-term
examination on Thursday, March 8. Questions will be comprised of
course reading material, course lecture, and possibly some questions
created by the class.

Collaborative Inquiry and Teaching Project (70 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 the instructor to discuss their teaching plans at
least one month prior to their scheduled teaching date.  In this
meeting, each group will bring a written outline of their teaching
project, which will be worth 10 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 (5 reference minimum).  A
second draft, which includes any changes agreed upon in the initial
meeting, must be submitted at least one week prior to your scheduled
presentation date.   This draft is also worth 10 points toward the
final teaching grade.

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 conferences
Classroom management
Gender issues

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

Expectations of Written Work:
1.  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").
2.  Use words correctly.  If you are not sure that the word you are
using is correct, check with your dictionary.
3.  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").
4.  Papers not meeting the above criteria will be penalized.  For
example, several spelling mistakes on a one- to two-page 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 (20 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 one's
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?

Class Attendance: As is apparent in the course title, this class is
all about communication. Much 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 three absences without need for an excuse.  With each
additional absence (regardless of the circumstance), I reserve the
right to lower your final grade by 3%.

Policy on Late Work: All work will be collected at the end of class on
the day it is due.  Late work will be subject to a half-grade penalty
for each day that it is late.

Graded Assignments:

Identity Collage - 25 pts.
Reflection Papers (RR—5., FR—2) - 70 pts.
Field Experience Journals - 75 pts.
Mid-Term Examination - 50 pts.
Collaborative Inquiry and Teaching Project - 70 pts.
Class Participation - 20 pts.
Total - 310 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

Jan. 9         Orientation and Community Building

Jan. 11        Community Building and Introduction to OnCourse

Jan. 16        Community Building (continued)
Assignment Due: Identity Collage

Jan. 18        The Process of Community Building

Jan. 23        Empathy
Readings: 1) Rogers, The interpersonal relationship in
the facilitation of learning
2) Locke & Ciechalski, Communication
techniques for teachers (pp. 33-37)
Assignments Due: Reading Reflections 1 and 2 (RR-1 and

Jan. 25        Unconditional Positive Regard

Jan. 30        Genuineness
Feb. 1         Introduction to the Collaborative Inquiry and Teaching


Feb. 6         Attending
Readings: 1) Morse & Ivey, The basics of communication
2) Locke & Ciechalski, Communication
techniques for teachers (pp. 37-47)
Assignments Due: RR-3 and RR-4

Feb. 8         Questioning
Reading: Morse & Ivey, Questioning skills and effective
Assignment Due: RR-5

Feb. 13        Paraphrasing, Reflecting feeling and reflecting content
Reading: 1) Morse & Ivey, Reflecting and the basic
listening sequence: Entering the world of
the other (pp.32-40)
2) Rogers, Reflection of feelings
Assignment Due: RR-6 and RR-7

Feb. 15        Basic Listening Sequence
Readings: Morse & Ivey, Reflecting and the basic
listening sequence: Entering  the world of the other
Assignment Due: RR-8


Feb. 20        Self-Disclosure

Feb. 22        Feedback

Feb. 27        Interpretation

Mar. 1         Confrontation

Mar. 6         Mid-term review

Mar. 8         Mid-term exam


Mar. 15        STILL RELAXING

Mar. 20        The classroom as a "group"
Reading: TBA

Mar. 22        In-class film: TBA
Assignment Due: RR-9

Mar. 27        In-class film (continued)
Assignment Due: Film Reflection-1 (FR-1)

Mar. 29        Prejudice and Stereotypes
Reading: TBA
Assignment Due: RR-10

Apr. 3         In-class film: Starting Small

Apr. 5         In-class Film: It's Elementary
Assignment Due: FR-2

Apr. 10        Collaborative Teaching
Assignment Due: FR-3

Apr. 12        Collaborative Teaching

Apr. 17        Collaborative Teaching

Apr. 19        Collaborative Teaching

Apr. 24        Wrapping-Up

Apr. 26        Saying Good-bye

May 4          No Final Examination—Have a great summer!