Education | Communication in the Classroom
F203 | 5230 | Steven Jett
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.
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.
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 discussions, readings, and
field experiences in a way that promotes personal and professional
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
E-mail Access Required:
I will be emailing you important course information, so please check
your email regularly.
Course Readings: A course packet is available at Collegiate Copies
(next to Bloomington Bagel on 3rd street)
1- Nicholas, S. N. (1997). Community-building in the classroom: A
process. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education & Development,
35, (pp. 198-298).
2 - 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.
3 - Morse, P.S. & Ivey, A.E. (1996). The basics of communication.
Face to face:
Communication and conflict resolution in the schools, (pp. 11-19).
Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
4 - Morse, P.S. & Ivey, A.E. (1996). Questioning skills and effective
Face to face: Communication and conflict resolution in the schools,
(pp. 20-31). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
5 - Morse, P.S. & Ivey, A.E. (1996). Reflecting and the basic
listening sequence: Entering the world of the other. Face to face:
Communication and conflict resolution in the schools, (pp. 33-46).
Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
6 - Chandler, T. A. (1998). Use of reframing as a classroom
strategy. Education, 119, 365-369.
7 - Johnson, D.W. (1972). Self-disclosure. Reaching out:
Interpersonal effectiveness and self-actualization, (pp. 9-41).
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
8 - Locke, D.C. & Ciechalski, J.C. (1995). The teacher and group
Psychological techniques for teachers, (pp. 97-114). Washington,
D.C.: Taylor & Francis.
9 - Cooper, P.J., & Simmonds, C. (1999). Small group communication.
Communication for the classroom teacher, (p.173-192). Needham
Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
10 - Tatum, B.D. (1997). The early years: "Is my skin brown because I
drink chocolate milk?" "Why are all the Black kids sitting together
in the cafeteria?" and other conversations about race, (pp.52-74). New
York: Basic Books.
11 - Tatum, B.D. (1997). Identity development in adolescence. "Why
are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?" and other
conversations about race, (pp.31-51). New York: Basic Books.
12 - Ornstein, S. & Sankowsky, D. (1994). Overcoming stereotyping and
prejudice: A framework and suggestions for learning. Journal of
Management Education, 18, 289-304.
13 - 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.
14 - Locke, D.C. & Ciechalski, J.C. (1995). Communication techniques
for teachers. Psychological techniques of teachers, (pp. 33-47).
Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Francis.
15 - Rogers, C. R. (1986). Reflection of feelings. Person-Centered
Review, 1, 375-377.
16 - Sadker, M, Sadker, D., & Long, L. (1997). Gender and equality.
Multicultural Education: Issues and perspectives (pp.131-149).
Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
17 - Kottler, J.A., & Kottler, E. (2000). Communicating with parents.
Counseling skills for teachers, (pp. 90-110). Thousand Oaks, CA:
Corwin Press, Inc.
Modes of Evaluation/Assignments and Classroom Activities: ALL PAPERS
SHOULD BE TYPED, DOUBLE-SPACED WITH 1" MARGINS, WITH 12-POINT FONT.
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 January 15, you will present
your collage (and additional items if you have them) to the class.
Journals (8 journal entries, 25 points per entry): For the purposes of
promoting personal and professional growth, you are required to write
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 on the dates highlighted on the course
outline. Also, to help ensure quality writing, your first 2 journals
must be reviewed by the Writing Tutorial Services prior to submission.
Please include both the original and final drafts when submitting your
first 2 journals.
Collaborative Inquiry and Teaching Project (110 points-100 for the
project, 10 for the outline): All students will participate in a 4- or
5- 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 or
emailing me their outlines at least 2 weeks prior to their scheduled
teaching date. The outline 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 (minimum of 5
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 resources.
Each group can choose from the following topics:
Creative teaching methods
* I am open to other topics as long as they are cleared with me in
Service-Learning Experience (50 points): 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. As
part of this course, you will be expected to observe and practice the
skills that you learn in class, in another environment. In
particular, students will be asked to provide their services for a
total of 12 hours at a selected site. You will be given the
opportunity to reflect upon your experiences in the field during class
discussions and also in your journals. You will lose 5 points for
each hour under the 12-hour requirement. Also, your hours must be
completed before Friday, April, 26.
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.
·Papers should reflect critical reflection and analysis of the course
readings, class discussions, and field experiences. Take time to
really think about how you are communicating your ideas. Do not
expect to do well on journals you write the night before they are due.
[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.]
In-Class Quizzes (35 points): To promote critical reflection of course
readings and assignments, you will be asked to complete several 10- to
15-minute quizzes throughout the semester. These quizzes will be
unannounced and will help to ensure completion and understanding of
Class Participation (75 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
Attendance: 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 three 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 in advance and is due
no later than Thursday, April 25th 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.
Identity Collage 30 pts.
Journals (25 pts x 8 entries) 200 pts.
Collaborative Inquiry and Teaching Project 110 pts.
Service-Learning 50 pts.
In-Class Quizzes 35 pts.
Class Participation 75 pts.
Total 500 pts.
A+ = 100%
A = 94-99%
A- = 90-93%
B = 84-86%
B+ = 87-89%
B- = 80-83%
C+ = 77-79%
C = 74-76%
C- = 70-73%
D+ = 67-69%
D = 64-66%
D- = 60-63%
PROJECTED COURSE OUTLINE
Jan. 8 Orientation and Community Building
Jan. 10 Community Building
Jan. 15 Community Building
Assignment Due: Identity Collage
Jan. 17 The Process of Community Building
Reading: Nicholas, Community-building in the classroom
Assignment Due: Journal #1
Jan. 22 Empathy
Reading : Rogers, The interpersonal relationship in the facilitation
Jan. 24 Genuineness
Jan. 29 Unconditional Positive Regard
Jan. 31 Introduction to Collaborative Inquiry and Teaching Project
Assignment Due: Journal #2
BASIC COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Feb. 5 Attending
Reading: Morse & Ivey, The basics of communication
Feb. 7 Questioning and A Panel of Teachers
Reading: Morse & Ivey, Questioning skills and effective teaching
Feb. 12 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)
Assignment Due: Journal #3
ADVANCED COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Feb. 14 Reframing
Reading: Chandler, Use of reframing as a classroom strategy
Feb. 19 Special Guest
Reading: Johnson, Self-disclosure (pp. 15-17)
Feb. 21 Self-disclosure
Reading: Johnson, Self-disclosure (pp. 9-15, 36-40)
Assignment Due: Journal #4
Feb. 26 Midterm Game
Reading: Locke & Ciechalski, Communication techniques for teachers
Feb. 28 The Classroom as a Group
Reading: Locke & Ciechalski, The teacher and group situation or Cooper
& Simmonds, Small group communication
Mar. 5 In-Class Film
Mar. 7 In-Class Film (continued)
Assignment Due: Journal #5
Mar. 9 - 17 SPRING BREAK!!
Mar. 19 Collaborative Teaching
Mar. 21 Collaborative Teaching
Mar. 26 Parent-Teacher Conference Videos
Mar. 28 Parent-Teacher Conferences Role Plays
Assignment Due: Journal #6
Apr. 2 Prejudice and Stereotypes
Reading: Ornstein & Sankowsky, Overcoming stereotyping and prejudice:
A framework and suggestions for learning
Apr. 4 Prejudice and Stereotypes (continued)
Reading: Tatum, The early years: "Is my skin brown because I drink
chocolate milk?" or Tatum, Identity development in adolescence
Apr. 9 In-Class Film
Apr. 11 In-Class Film
Assignment Due: Journal #7
Apr. 16 Collaborative Teaching
Apr. 18 Collaborative Teaching
Apr. 23 Collaborative Teaching
Apr. 25 Wrapping Up
Reading: - Egri & Keleman, Breaking up is hard to do: Building
separation and transitions at the end of the course
Assignment Due: Journal #8
Apr. 30 No Final Exam-Enjoy Your Summer Break