Education | Communication in the Classroom
G203 | 5610 | Kelly Eder

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 such
changes at the earliest date possible in class, through e-mail, or
via Oncourse (

Required Reading
Cooper, P. J. & Simonds, C. J. (2003).  Communication for the
classroom teacher. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Additional readings will be assigned to supplement the text.  These
articles will be made available by the instructor through Oncourse.

Course Description
Everything we do or say communicates a message.  One cannot speak or
act without communicating.  Because communication is pervasive and
easily taken for granted, it is easy for us to forget its
importance.  It is difficult to imagine an activity more common,
flexible, emotional, intellectual, useful, creative, clear or
ambiguous than communication.  Understanding and purposefully using
communication to convey messages are important and powerful tools for
any individual.
In this course, we will study communication from the point of view of
education.  Some of the questions we will ask are:

•What is communication?
•What is education?
•How does communication contribute to learning?
•What are the components and kinds of communication?
•How do they function in the classrooms and in schools?
•What is the relationship between communication and community?
•How does communication promote safety and understanding?
•How can teachers communicate effectively with 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.

Course Objectives

1.  To build and maintain a sense of community within the class that
allows for open expression of thoughts and feelings.
2.  To understand yourself as a communicator, your style, and voice.
3.  To think specifically about communication in the classroom, and
particular topics in educational environments today.
4.  To develop and enhance important teaching skills and attitudes
via active participation in the learning process.

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 me.  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 on this topic, please see
Religious Holidays: Indiana University Religious Holy Days/Holidays
policy ( outlines the
procedures students should follow in requesting an accommodation for
missing exams or other academic exercises because of a required
religious observance.  If you have a conflict with an exam or
assignment for this reason, please inform me early in the semester
after completing the form to request accommodations at www.

Course Expectations:

Attendance and Active Participation:
Another way in which you can help yourself attain a high grade in
this class is by attending class.  There will be some days in which I
lecture and other days in which we will have discussion sessions.
Participation (from each and every one of you) during these
discussion sessions is CRUCIAL to the success of the discussion, and
the class in general.  Thus, discussion participation will be worth
50 points of your final course grade.  If you are not in class, you
cannot participate, and as a result, you will be forfeiting an
opportunity to earn more points.  You are allowed one unexcused
absence.  If you have more than one unexcused absence, you will lose
10 points.  If you have three unexcused absences, you will lose 10
more points, and so on, and so on.  If you continue to have unexcused
absences after you lose all 50 participation points, then you will
lose half a letter grade for every absence thereafter.  So, if you
have ten unexcused absences, and had a B average after the loss of
all 50 points, you will then have a D.  Therefore, it is highly
recommended that you do not miss class!! BUT, if you have a good
attendance record, you give me the opportunity to employ my “bumping
principle.”  That is, if you have a good attendance record, the more
likely I am at the end of the semester to “bump” you up to the next
grade level if your final grade is one of those “borderline grades.”
So, please come to class regularly-I look forward to learning from
you too.

Excused absences:
An excused absence for health reasons must be accompanied by a
doctor’s note.  Personal loss or bereavement is also grounds for an
excused absence in consultation with the instructor.  If by chance
you are absent from class for any reason or you know ahead of time
that you will be absent, it is your responsibility to notify me via e-
mail, phone or in-person as soon as possible.  It is also your sole
responsibility to find out from one of your peers what you missed
during your absence (notes, assignments, schedule changes, etc.).  If
a student shows up late to class and misses roll, then it is the
student’s responsibility to approach the instructor at the end of the
class and ensure that they have not been marked absent.  Failure to
do this at the time will not be rectified later.

Late Assignments:
All assignments are due on the date posted and should be uploaded
onto Oncourse before the beginning of the class on the date on which
they are due.  Late assignments will be penalized 10% after class has
begun and for each day thereafter.  Failure to turn in an assignment
will result in a zero on that assignment.

An e-mail account is required for this course and should be checked
regularly, as important course information is sent from your

Expectations Regarding Written Work:
Part of communicating effectively is writing effectively.  There will
be many instances in your professional career in which you will be
expected to communicate in writing to students, parents,
administrators, and even other teachers.  Therefore, it is imperative
that you learn to write effectively now in preparation for the
future.  With that being said, here are the requirements for all
written assignments:

•All papers should be double-spaced and in twelve (12) font.  For in-
class writing assignments, handwriting must be legible.

•Presented on white paper

•Use black font (ink) only

•Use regular (8 ½ x 11 inch) paper

•Paragraphs and margins must be standard (1 inch or 1 ¼ inch)

•No spelling mistakes (use of spell check should help as well as
having someone read through it and check for any mistakes that “slip
through the net,” e.g. “form” instead of “from,” that do not show up
on the spell check.

•Use words correctly.  If you are not sure that the word you are
using is correct, check with your dictionary.

•Do not use contractions such as don’t, can’t, wouldn’t, etc.  Please
use do not, cannot, would not, etc.

•Avoid slang, conversational speech, and colloquialisms.  Examples of
this are, “It was real good to find this out” (colloquial), “She was
so cool” (slang), and “I kinda liked that” (conversational).  For
more information on this topic, please refer to the writing center at
IU at this web address:

•Papers not meeting the above criteria will be penalized.  For
example, several spelling mistakes on a three-page paper may result
in a drop of a whole letter grade or more.

Assignment Descriptions:

Reflection Papers:  Throughout the semester, you will be asked to
write four reaction papers.  I will give you specific topics,
questions or directions for each reflection paper.  Each of the five
reflection papers should follow the written work requirements
previously described and should be 3-5 pages in length.  Due dates
for the papers will be given to you in class and through Oncourse.

Midterm Exam:  On February 26th, there will be a test of your
understanding of course material.  Questions will take the form of
multiple choice, short answer and essay.

Collaborative Inquiry and Teaching Project:  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 me to
discuss their teaching plans or e-mailing 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 references).

Consider the following questions when developing your teaching
outline: How will we engage the class in the topic?  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.

In Class Writing Assignments:  Throughout the semester, you will be
asked to complete short, one-page papers at the end of class, which
will address questions brought up about the assigned readings for
that day.  These papers will be graded on a pass/fail scale.  Thus,
they do not have to be of the highest quality, but they must reflect
your understanding of the day’s topic!  Dates of these papers will
not be known beforehand.  Therefore, please come prepared for each
and every class and be ready to participate in discussions!

Required Assignments:
Assignment:Total Possible Points:Percent of Grade:
Reflection Papers (5 total)100 pts. 25%
Midterm Examination 100 pts. 25%	
Collaborative Inquiry and 100 pts. 25%
Teaching project
In-class writing assignments 50 pts. 12.5%
Attendance and Participation 50 pts. 12.5%	
Total 400 pts. 100%

Grading Scale:
A+ 98-100%		
A  93-97%			
A- 90-92%		
B+ 88-89%		
B  83-87%			
B- 80-82%		
C+ 78-79%
C  73-77%					
C- 70-72%
D+ 68-69%
D  63-67%
D- 60-62%
F>    59%


Date/Reading Due/Assignment Due

T 1/13					

R 1/15					

T 1/20					
Preface & Ch. 1

R 1/22					
Ch. 1

T 1/27					
Ch. 2 				
Assignment #1

R 1/29					
Ch. 2

T 2/3					
Ch. 4

R 2/5					
Ch. 4

T 2/10					
Ch. 3

R 2/12					
Ch. 3

T 2/17					
Ch. 9			
Assignment #2

R 2/19					
Ch. 9

T 2/24 				
Midterm Review

R 2/26 				
Midterm Exam			

T 3/2  					
Ch. 7

R 3/4					
Ch. 7

T 3/9					
Ch. 5

R 3/11					
Ch. 5

T 3/16					
Spring Break!

R 3/18					
Spring Break!

T 3/23					

R 3/25					
Video Discussion	
T 3/30					
Ch. 6			
Assignment #3

R 4/1					
Ch. 6

T 4/6					
Parent/Teacher Conferences
R 4/8					
Parent/Teacher Conferences

T 4/13				 	
Ch. 10			
Assignment #4

R 4/15					
Ch. 10

T 4/20					
Ch. 10			
R 4/22					

T 4/27					

R 4/29