Education | Communication in the Classroom
G203 | 5442 | Krinstin Kohler

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

Important Notes:
Students with Disabilities: Students with visual, hearing, physical,
and/or learning disabilities, which may require modification of
curriculum, instruction, or assessment, should contact the instructor
as soon as possible.  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 through services from Disabled Student Services.  See
the Handbook for Students with Disabilities for eligibility

Writing Services: Producing quality written work is a significant
factor in college academics and your future lives as professionals.
If you feel that you need additional assistance with your writing
skills, please utilize Writing Tutorial Services (WTS) at Becoming a skilled writer
is a lifelong process-WTS can help to make sure that you are on the
right path
Academic Misconduct: Cheating, plagiarism, sexual harassment,
racial/gender/sexual orientation discrimination, slurs, or any other
student misconduct that adversely affects the learning or safety of
others 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 they have been the victim of harassment, discrimination, or
any other act of malicious intent, please contact me.  For more
information about this topic, please see: http://campus

Required Reading Materials:
"Morse, P.S. & Ivey, A.E. (1996). Face to face: Communication and
conflict resolution in the schools

"Kottler, J.A. & Kottler, E. (2000). Counseling skills for teacher

"G203 Reading Packet -Available at Mr. Copy (Dunn and 10th)

"Throughout the semester, articles may be placed on reserve in the
Education Library

Course Rationale:
Why this course?  Whenever we act or speak-we are communicating.  It
is difficult to imagine an activity more complex than communication.
Communication consists of far more than just the words we use.  It is
both a verbal and non-verbal tool that can be used to convey emotion,
facts, feelings, and much more.  In fact, much of what we communicate
is never spoken.  Understanding and purposefully using communication
to convey messages are important and powerful tools for any

This class aims to increase your ability to communicate in multiple
settings with diverse individuals and groups.  These skills will be
oriented to the classroom environment. As teachers, you will be
responsible for communicating effectively with students, families,
other teachers, and an assortment of educational professionals.  In
addition, you will be required to understand what is being said to you
by all of these individuals.  This course has been designed to help
students better understand the facets of communication as well as how
to communicate more effectively with children and adults.

Course Goals: Through active participation in this course, you will:
"Have a better understanding of yourself as a communicator

"Learn practical and effective communication tools

"Have ample opportunity to practice communicating with individuals,
small groups, and the class

"Develop skills on how to build a sense of community, safety, and
belonging with individual students, parents, and classrooms through

Course Expectations:

1)E-mail: An e-mail account is required for this course and should be
checked regularly, as I will frequently send out important course
information via e-mail.

2)Attendance: I value your presence and contribution in class.
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 the instructor and obtain materials
missed.  You will not receive credit nor will you be able to make up
points for in-class assignments and discussions that you missed.  You
are able to miss two classes before it affects your final grade.  Two
classes means two classes-regardless of the reason-use them sparingly.

3)Active Participation: Come to class prepared by having read the
assigned materials so that you can question, comment, and reflect in
the class.  This means you are active in the experience of class.  You
will expect the same from your students one day.

4)Assignments: All assignments (except in-class work) are to be typed
and turned in to me at the beginning of the class date that it is due.
Formatting guidelines: cover page with name, date, and section number;
double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font with one-inch margins
around the document.  Handwritten work will not be accepted.

5)Late Assignments: All assignments are due on the date posted.  Late
assignments will be penalized 10% for each day that they are late.

6)Course Concerns: Please communicate with me if you have any concerns
regarding the course, on particular topics that will be covered, or
about your progress throughout the semester.  I'm willing to listen to
your comments, constructive criticism, and suggestions.

Grading Formula:/Graded Assignments:

A   94-100%
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%
F   Below 60%

Identity Collage 5% (10 pts)	
Attendance and Active Participation 15% (30 pts)
Reaction Papers	15% (30 pts)
Practice Days 15%  (30 pts)
Group Presentation 25%  (50 pts)
Final Essay 25%  (50pts)
100%	(200 pts)	

Assignment Description:

1) IDENTITY COLLAGE: As part of our community building activities, you
will be responsible for designing a collage on a regular-sized poster
board, which describes who you are as an individual and who you want
to be as a teacher.  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,
cultural background, unique characteristics, accomplishments, and
career goals.  If you choose to bring in additional items (e.g.
favorite book or instrument), which will not fit on your poster, you
are welcome to do so.   Use your creativity!

participation are critical components of this course.  As a result,
your presence and involvement with class constitute 15% of your grade.
Only two absences are allowed any subsequent absences will result in
a deduction of points from your final grade.  Attendance on Practice
Days will be graded separately.  Active participation involves having
read the assigned readings, participating in class discussion with
questions and your perspectives, participating in class activities,
providing useful materials to your classmates via e-mail or in class,
etc. This is not an exhaustive list-I'm open to many types of
participation.  Be creative and talk with me if you have any questions
or new participation ideas.  At the end of the semester, I ask that
you grade your level of participation in class with clear examples of
why you think you should receive that grade.  If I disagree with your
grade, we will meet and come to a final grade together.

3) REACTION PAPERS: Throughout the semester, you will be asked to
write two reaction papers.  I will provide the topic for the first
paper.  You will select the topic for the second paper but please get
my approval on the topic prior to beginning the paper.  For both
papers, I expect you to use course readings as well as additional
readings that you find useful to support your statements.  These
papers should be four full pages in length.

4) PRACTICE DAYS: There are three days on the schedule that are
devoted to putting our course materials into action.  Attendance and
active participation during these three days constitutes 15% of your
final grade.  Practice days will provide you with an opportunity to
practice the skills we are covering in the class as well as receive
feedback from your peers, other individuals in the education field,
and me.  For the first two practice days, you may dress casually.
However, for the "Parent Teacher Conferences" you will be asked to
dress professionally (we will discuss this further in class) and
conduct two mock conferences with individuals not affiliated with our

5) GROUP PRESENTATION: Groups of 2-3 will be responsible for providing
a 30-minute presentation on topic related to communication in the
classroom (i.e. inclusion, bullying, handling crisis situations).
These presentations should provide us with practical information on
how to more effectively communicate in the classroom.  They are also
opportunities for you to experiment with your teaching style.  Be
creative!  Groups, presentation dates, and grading criteria will be
distributed in class.  Your group will choose the topic.

6) FINAL ESSAY: Your final examination will be a written essay on a
topic related to the class.  Additional information will be provided
in class.

R=Reader, MI=Morse and Ivey, KK=Kottler and Kottler


01/13  Introductions
01/15  Community Building:
Teacher Qualities
R: Morse and Barnett (1994)	

01/20  No Class-MLK Day
Attend a MLK Event/Lecture/Activity

01/22  Community Building:
Getting to Know You
Identity Collage

01/27  The First Year
01/29  The First Year
KK: Chapter 1
R: Nieto (2000)	

02/03  Foundations of Communication:
What is Communication?
R: Cooper (1995)	

02/05  Foundations of Communication:
Rogers	R: Rogers (1969) and Summary	

02/10  Communication Skills:
The Basics	
MI: Chapter 1-3	

02/12  Communication Skills:
MI: Chapter 4-5
R: Hurt (1978)
Reaction Paper #1 Due


02/19  Communication Skills:
Problem Solving	MI: Chapter 6-7	

02/24  Communication Skills:
Practice Day
Practice Day

02/26  Teaching Essentials:
Understanding Children 	
R: Maslow
KK: Chapter 3	

03/03  Teaching Essentials:
Understanding Privilege	
R: McIntosh; Delpit (1997)
03/05  Teaching Essentials:
Understanding Stereotypes
R: SES, GLBT, & Disability handouts
R: Stereotype Article	

03/10  Teaching Essentials:
Understanding Responsibility
R: Nieto (2000)
Chapter 11.
Skim Chapter 10	

03/12  Teaching Essentials:
Practice Day
Reaction Paper #2 Due and Practice Day

03/17 & 03/19  NO CLASS-SPRING BREAK  Have Fun and Relax!

03/24  Communicating "Outside the Box"

03/26  Group Communication
KK: Chapter 5
R: Locke and Ciechalski (1995)	

03/31  Professional Communication
KK: Chapter 7	

04/02  Parent Teacher Communication:
KK: Chapter 6
R: Quiroz et al. (1999) and Gestwicki (2000) Informal Communication
with Parents	

04/07  Parent Teacher Communication:
Video and Examples		

04/09  Parent Teacher Conferences:
Practice Day
Practice Day

04/14  Group Presentations 1 & 2
Readings for Groups 1 and 2	

04/16  Group Presentations 3 & 4
Readings for Groups 3 and 4	

04/21  Group Presentations 5 & 6
Readings for Groups 5 and 6	

04/23  Group Presentations 7 & 8
Readings for Groups 7 and 8	

04/28  Group Presentations 9 & 10
Readings for Groups 9 and 10	
04/30	Wrap-up, Party, and Evaluations
Final Essay Due