Education | Communication in the Classroom
F203 | 5232 | Tricia Garrard
This course has been designed to increase your awareness of the many
facets of communication and to assist you in communicating more
effectively. Whenever we act or speak, we are, in fact,
communicating. It is difficult to imagine an activity more common,
flexible, emotional, intellectual, useful, creative, or ambiguous than
communication. Communication consists of far more than just the words
we use. It is both verbal and nonverbal. In fact, much of what we
communicate is never spoken. Understanding and purposefully using
communication to convey messages is important.
This class aims at increasing your awareness of communicating in
multiple environments, but specifically, in the classroom. As
teachers, you will be responsible for communicating effectively with
students, other teachers, professionals, and parents. 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 most practical and empowering tool you may acquire.
By actively participating in this course, you will learn to:
1. understand yourself as a communicator - your style, your voice,
2. acquire tools which will assist you in communicating more
3. think specifically about communication in the classroom
4. think about particular topics relevant to educational environments
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).
You are required to read and adhere to the Indiana University Code of
Student Ethics policy on academic dishonesty, plagiarism, and student
conduct. For more information refer to
Course Requirements and Expectations
1. Attendance: Attendance in class 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. Irregular attendance could affect your grade
because you may miss activities, quizzes, and other components of the
class. You will not receive credit or be able to make up points for
missed in-class assignments and activities. It is your responsibility
to reach the instructor and obtain materials missed. Punctuality to
class is a must! In addition, punctuality and good attendance are
qualities that you will be expected to exhibit as a teacher.
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! Come to
class prepared by having read and completed assignments; question,
comment, and reflect aloud in the class discussion. Your attendance,
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. I do not plan to award participation points,
but I reserve the right to make changes to this policy if the class is
3. Assignments ALL assignments (excluding in-class work) are to be
TYPED and turned in during the assigned class. Format of typed
assignments: Times New Roman, 12 font, one-inch margins,
double-spaced. Hand-written work will not be accepted.
4. Late Assignments All assignments are due on the date posted. Late
assignments will be penalized 4% beginning after class and for each
day thereafter. Example: Paper was due on Monday in class, you turn
it in on Thursday; 20% will be taken off your grade for that
assignment. (Keep in mind that missed in-class activities cannot be
1. Identity Collage: 5 Extra Credit Points!!
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 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 in class.
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 15th.
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 did something significant in your eyes. Write 2-3
paragraphs 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 of your former students to speak about your
influence on their lives. Write a paper entitled "Your name: My
Favorite Teacher." Include characteristics that you want your students
to remember about you. Think about your "mission statement" and goals
as a future teacher. What do you hope to hear former students saying
3. In-Class Activities (5 points each):
There will be certain activities (e.g., group work, pop quizzes, etc.)
for which you can receive credit just by being in class and
participating. This is a less arbitrary way to include a measure of
participation in your final grade. I will collect work completed in
class and assign points for completion.
4. Reading Reflections (5 required):
These are 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. The purpose
is for you to have an opportunity to deepen your understanding by
synthesizing what you know with what you read and to discuss,
critique, and question the articles. These are intended to help you
think critically about the articles and prepare you for class
discussion. These should be one-half to one page (single-spaced) in
length and can be narrative or bulleted points. By the end of the
semester everyone will have handed in 5 reflections.
5. Papers (P 1-4)
For Videos: We will have three in-class videos this semester. For
each video, you are required to write a short (1-2 page,
double-spaced) video reflection paper and hand it in 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? What
about it specifically was good or bad? Did you agree with the
concepts presented in the film? These are to be reflections of your
thoughts and opinions, NOT a summary of the film.
For Group Presentations: Each student will be required to write an
evaluation of a collaborative inquiry/teaching group's presentation.
Details will be provided on this requirement later in the semester.
6. Mid-term Examination:
You are required to take a mid-term examination. The questions for
this exam will cover course reading material, course lectures, videos,
and/or guest speakers. It is possible that the exam will include some
questions generated by class discussion. The format will be discussed
in class at a later date.
7. Video Analysis:
See pages following syllabus for detailed description
8. Collaborative Inquiry and Teaching:
A detailed description will be provided
9. Final Exam:
You are required to write a final reflection paper about the course.
This paper is to be four to five full 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. I'll be looking
for specific examples, thoughts, feelings, organization, and depth of
reflection on the following questions:
What was most valuable?
What do you think is the most important thing you learned from this
course and why?
How will you apply what you have learned in F203 to your future as an
What will you take with you and apply to your own future classroom
What fears do you have of becoming a teacher? Were any of these
lessened because of what you learned in F203?
What are your own communication strengths and weaknesses? What impact
will they have on your future classrooms?
How do you think your communication skills and the importance they
hold for you will change as you gain more classroom teaching
Collaborative Group 100 pts. 20%
Mid-term Exam 100 pts. 20%
Final Paper 100 pts. 20%
Video Analysis 75 pts. 15%
Papers(4) 50 pts. 10%
Reading Reflections(5) 25 pts. 5%
In-class Activities 25 pts. 5%
Import. Qualities 25 pts. 5%
Total Possible 500 pts. 100%
F £ 59%
Identity Collage is worth 5 Extra credit points and will be added to
your point total.
Note: If you prefer, you may turn in assignments with your student ID
number (or the last four digits of this number) instead of your name.
Tentative Schedule of Readings/Assignments
K=Kottler Text, CP=Course Packet, RR1-10 = Reading Reflections, P 1-4
T Jan 8 Orientation and Community Building
R Jan 10Community Building (cont.)
T Jan 15 Community Building (cont.) CP 13-17 Teacher Qualities
R Jan 17 Challenges Facing Teachers; GRE CP 19-39 RR1 due
T Jan 22 Communicative Skills CP 43-58 RR2 due
R Jan 24 Communicative Skills (cont.)
T Jan 29 Movie: The Lion's Den
R Jan 31 Non-Verbal Communication CP 59-79 RR3 due
T Feb 5 The Lion's Den (cont.)
R Feb 7 Person-first lang. and disabilities CP 85-90 RR4 & P1 due
T Feb 12 Movie: Reality Therapy in Class
R Feb 14 Review for Mid-term P2 due
T Feb 19 Mid-term Examination
R Feb 21 Stereotypes CP 93-99 RR5 due
T Feb 26 Cross-Cultural Communication CP 101-119 RR6 due
R Feb 28 Cross-Cultural Communication (cont.)
T Mar 5 Home-School Comm. Collab. CP 122-153 RR7 due
R Mar 7 Parent-Teacher Comm/Conf. CP 155-176 RR8 due
T Mar 19 Parent-Teacher (cont.) CP 177-214
R Mar 21 Ability grouping; group comm. CP 215-231 RR9 due
T Mar 26 Sexual Harassment CP 233-252 RR10 due
R Mar 28 Movie: It's Elementary Video Analysis due
T Apr 2 Video Analysis discussion P3 due
R Apr 4 Collaborative Inquiry/Teaching group #1
T Apr 9 Collaborative Inquiry/Teaching group #2
R Apr 11 Collaborative Inquiry/Teaching group #3
T Apr 16 Collaborative Inquiry/Teaching group #4
R Apr 18 Collaborative Inquiry/Teaching group #5
T Apr 23 Collaborative Inquiry/Teaching group #6
R Apr 25 Review/Course evaluations; discussion P4 due
Video Analysis Assignment
Movies represent an excellent opportunity for us to explore different
forms of communication. Watching and reflecting on the communication
styles of movie characters will make you more aware of these styles
and, perhaps, your own style of communicating with others.
For this assignment, you are required to watch ONE of two movies:
American Beauty or Dead Poets' Society. After watching the film, you
will reflect on and analyze communication as it is portrayed in the
movie. Keep in mind that communication can be verbal, nonverbal,
explicit, implicit, direct, indirect, etc. Use specific examples from
the move to identify both good and poor communication. Provide
concrete explanations for how/why characters communicated effectively.
When characters communicated poorly, provide alternative ways of
communication that would have been more effective. You could also
look for more subtle, implicit forms of communication that affect the
overall tone of the move: color, music, scenery, camera angle,
character appearances (clothes, makeup etc.).
Choose one of the following questions/analytic themes to address in
Analyze the message(s) communicated about gender, race, sexual
orientation, and/or social class.
What societal messages are being communicated to the characters in the
movie? How do these messages influence each character's behavior?
How are these societal messages conveyed to the characters?
Analyze, in depth, one of the relationships presented in the movie
(include a discussion of communication patterns, communication skills
used/not used, etc.)
Think of specific characters' behavior patterns (e.g., Jane or Ricky
in American Beauty). What does their behavior communicate about their
life experiences? What messages are they trying to convey to the
other characters through their behavior? Give specific examples and
analyze each one.
Examine more implicit forms of communication, such as music, color,
cinematography, and/or scenery. How do they communicate themes in the
movie? What messages do they send? Give specific examples and
describe what you think is being communicated and why.
You are to write a paper (4-5 pages) that analyzes the movie with
regard to one of these themes. If, for some reason, you are opposed
to watching one of these movies, please see me about an alternative
choice. Grading will follow the written paper grading criteria