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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 21-Dec-22

Spring 2023 | COM-1015-VO02 - Communication in the Early Childhood Education & Afterschool Workplace

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 01-24-2023 to 05-08-2023
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-12-2023 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-26-2023 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


Kathleen Moore
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Ashraf Alamatouri

Course Description

In this course students develop effective communication and relationship-building skills for early childhood education and afterschool workplace settings. The course focuses on building effective communication skills with parents, colleagues, children, youth, and community partners. Emphasis is placed on active listening, observation, reporting, and the use of clear language in interpersonal and small group situations.

Essential Objectives

1. Describe and apply effective and professional communication skills with children and adults, including reflective listening, assertiveness, negotiation, and conflict resolution.
2. Evaluate and practice communication strategies to support respectful, reciprocal relationships with families, colleagues, and community partners, including advocacy and confidentiality.
3. Explore factors that influence communication patterns across diverse communities and families, including the impact of culture, personal and family values, language, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic conditions, stress and trauma, religion, age, and abilities on communication.
4. Describe and practice communication strategies to support diverse children and families, including those with diverse abilities and special needs.
5. Examine and practice written and oral communication strategies to engage families and communities in children’s development and learning.
6. Describe common roles for participants in team and small group activities and develop strategies for decision making.
7. Demonstrate effective and professional oral and written communication skills with varied and diverse audiences in the early childhood education workplace.
8. Reflect on one’s own communication style and develop strategies for improved communication skills based on individual professional goals.
9. Prepare a formal presentation that demonstrates proficiency using the CCV Oral Communication Rubric.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

The last day to use a Financial Aid Advance to purchase textbooks/books is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.


  • Weekly textbook reading, video, and PowerPoint
  • Weekly reflections
  • Observations and case studies
  • 1 research paper2

Evaluation Criteria

Discussion Forums (both first post and responses): 35%

Homework assignments and short essays (including observations and case studies): 35%

Research Paper - 15%

"What I Learned" Final Paper and Presentation - 15%

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments



WEEK 1: Getting Started with Communicating with Children


Syllabus (located in "Course Resources" module) and the material in the "Readings" section of this week's module.

Note:While the usual weekly discussions will be due on the following schedule, I am allowing extra time this week (to Thursday at 10:01 a.m.)

The schedule for the rest of the semester will be:

  • First post due by 10:01 a.m. Wednesdays.
  • Final Posts due by Saturday at 11:59 p.m.

THIS WEEK'S DISCUSSIONS (due Thursday at 10:01 a.m.)

  • #1 Introductions and Your Learning Goals:Introduce yourself to the group! As part of your introduction, name yourareas of comfort and confidencein communicating in the early childhood and afterschool environment andareas of challengethat you’d like to learn more about. Note that the course will be focusing oncommunicating with both children and adults.One to two paragraphs.
  • #2 Library Check-In:Review the requirements for the research project for this class. Visit the Hartness Library at this linkhttps://hartness.vsc.edu/(Links to an external site.)and review the “Guides and Help” material. Then ask one question of a CCV librarian via email, chat, telephone, or any other contact choice. That question should be aimed at helping you feel more comfortable getting started on your research projects.

Note that the HELP button for the library is always located in the top right of the Hartness page.

Report back on one new thing that you learned that will help you get started on the right foot in findingcrediblematerial for your first research project on communication delays in children. One paragraph.

  • #3 Social and Emotional Learning (SEL):Understanding of social and emotional learning (SEL) is rapidly expanding. In the past decade, SEL has emerged as an umbrella term for a number of concepts including non-cognitive development, character education, 21st-century skills, and trauma-informed learning, among others. Consult onecredibleresource to learn more about any dimension of SEL and report to your classmates on what you learned. If you don’t know what a credible source is, consult the Hartness Library resources and/or a librarian.
  • #4 Class Questions:After having read the syllabus, what are your questions about this course? If you have no questions, please say so.


“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.” Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Week 2 – Feb. 1-5 – Speech and Language Development + Intro to Children’s Emotions


How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen (HTT)Ch. 1:Tools for Handling Emotions

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT:Read all discussion forums, but choose the group that mostinterests you to participate.Discuss age-appropriate ways to encourage speech and language developmentbased on what you learned in this week’s materials.Refer to authors and sources by name. Be sure to respond to at least one classmate (and stay engaged with that conversation. Please reply to anyone who engages with you.
Group 1:Birth to 2
Group 2:2 to 4
Group 3:4 to 6
EMOTIONS in CHILDREN:Read all discussion forums, but choose the group that most interests you!Discussage-appropriate ways to handle emotions in this age group.Refer to authors and sources by name. Be sure to respond to at least one classmate (and stay engaged with that conversation. Please reply to anyone who engages with you.
Group 1:Birth to 2
Group 2:2 to 4
Group 3:4 to 6
  • You will need three credible sources for your Communications Delay research project. Please make surethat the sources you are planning to use are CREDIBLE. Visit Hartness Library and/or chat with a librarian if youneed support on identifying credible sources.
  • Adult Interacting with Infant Observation due next week! Plan ahead to make sure you've done the reading and made plans for observation!


Week 3 – Engaging Cooperation & Finding Peaceful Solutions to Conflict



  1. INTERESTING, USEFUL, PUZZLING:What did you find interesting, useful, or puzzling in this week’s readings? Give the name of the chapter or article in your post and refer to the concept by name and page number (or time stamp).
  2. ENGAGING COOPERATION:Keeping confidentiality a priority, give an example of a situation where you felt frustrated with achild who was not cooperating. Be brief, but specific, about what the child was doing and how you were reacting to the child at that time. Then, describe one or more things you’ve learned about how to approach such situations more productively and what you could you say or do to engage cooperation. Briefly explain WHY you think this would be a wise approach, referring to course concepts using the name of the concept and page number (or timestamp).
  1. HELPING CHILDREN WITH CONFLICT:Keeping confidentiality a priority, give an example of a situation where you felt frustrated bychildren who were engaged in unproductive conflict with one another.Be brief, but specific, about what the chhildren were doing and how you were reacting at the time. Then, describe one or more thing you’ve learned about how to approach such situations more helpfully and what you could say or do to help the children sort out their problem if this situation were to arise again. Briefly explain WHY you think this would be a wise approach, referring to course concepts using name of the concept and page number (or timestamp).

DUE:Adult Interacting with Infant

HINT:You should have at least three credible resources to support you in constructing your Communications Delays research paper. The thesis statement and three sources aredue next week.If you need help writing a thesis statement, here’s a resource for you:https://libguides.hartness.vsc.edu/researchbasics/thesis(Links to an external site.) You can also earn extra credit points by checking in with Tutor.com about your thesis statemen




HTTCh. 4– Tools for Praise and Appreciation

The Best Way to Praise Kids Who Learn and Think Differently: https://www.understood.org/en/friends-feelings/empowering-your-child/celebrating-successes/ways-praise-can-empower-kids-learning-differences

Behavioral Challenges PowerPoint



  • GIVING PRAISE AND APPRECIATION: WHAT COULD YOU SAY?Think of and briefly describe asituation where you might offer praise or appreciation. Briefly describe the situation (not morethan a paragraph). What might you have said to offer such praise and appreciationbeforeyou werein this class? What might you say now? Why (cite your sources!)?
  • BEHAVIORAL CHALLENGES FOR CHILDREN WITH DIFFICULTIES IN SOCIAL AND EMOTIONALDEVELOPMENT: Given that children with difficulties in social-emotional development can be easilytriggered, what are some of the things you say and do to create a calm and safe environment that isdevelopmentally appropriate? How do you plan for children who are emotionally fragile in a
    developmentally appropriate way? Explain your thinking, using references -- including page numbers and/or timestamps -- from the reading (boththis week and previous weeks’ reading).

DUE:Communication Delays Thesis and Three Credible Sources

HINT: If you haven’t started outlining and drafting your Communications Delay paper, you should start thinking about that! It’s due in two weeks! Take advantage of feedback from me on your thesis statement, and also be sure to use Tutor.com and/or the CCV Learning Center nearest you for extra credit!You can earnextra creditif you demonstrate that you have consulted and used one of these resources for your draft and have taken their input into consideration in revision. Include the feedback (at the bottom of your document) you got when you upload your final paper. Not only will you earn extra credit, you'll also likely have written a better assignment and will earn a higher grade because of it.

HINT:Begin thinking about and researching your Social and Emotional Learning project. Don’t forget to use the Hartness Library for help!



HTTCh. 5Tools for Kids Who are Differently Wired

HTTCH. 5 ¼- Conditions Under Which the Tools Won’t Work.

NEW VIDEO THAT IS NOT IN SYLLABUS:A Child's View of Sensory Processing - YouTube(Links to an external site.)

Taking care to maintain confidentiality, considera difficult situation in which you interacted with a child on the autismspectrum or with a sensory processing disorder.If you are not currently working in a center where you can makesuch an observation, contact me for alternative instructions.

1.What was the behavior you observed?Describe the behavior based onwhat you could see or hear. Bespecific. If you have a diagnostic label, offer it only after you have described the behavior. Not more thanone paragraph.
2.What did you try in the pastthat has been either successful or unsuccessful in a situation like this? (If youare not currently working with children, what might your impulse have been?) Not more than oneparagraph.
3.Analyze your past approach(or impulse)using concepts from our course. One paragraph.
4.What new approaches or insightsare you gaining for working with children who are “differently wired” as aresult of this week’s materials? Refer directly to course concepts by name using page numbers and/or timestamps. Not more than one paragraph.


  • Communications Delays Paper due next week. Use the support you have at the library and at Tutor.com toearn your best grade!
  • Social and Emotional Learning Project is due in two weeks. You should have your research nearlycompleted and should be beginning the drafting process. Don’t forget to use your supports!
  • Your final project is to prepare a presentation on key learnings for you in this course. As we turn the cornerfrom working with children to working with adults, now would be a great time to review your notes and sketchout some ideas of what you’d like to include in your presentation from the first half of the course.



HTT: Troubleshooting: When the Tools Don’t Work – p. 369

Plain Language Guidelines:https://www.nih.gov/institutes-nih/nih-office-director/office-communications-public-liaison/clear-communication/plain-language(Links to an external site.)

Plain Language Traininghttps://www.nih.gov/institutes-nih/nih-office-director/office-communications-public-liaison/clear-communication/plain-language/plain-language-getting-started-or-brushing(Links to an external site.)


Troubleshooting:Name one new approach (or a reminder of an approach you don’t want to forget) that you are taking away from HTT chapter 15 “Troubleshooting.” Give an example of a situation in which you might put it to use. Be specific in briefly naming the situation, and how you might apply the "troubleshooting" tool.

Communicating with Parents:

  • In your own words,explain why using plain language is so important in communicating with parents and community members.One to two plain and clear sentences.
  • Next,select a letter to parents or a workplace policy meant to be read by parents to re-write using plain language. The key is to make sure that your revision is both clear and also thorough. Post both the original and your revision. Support one another by encouraging what you see as plain and clear language, and making observations about places it might be clearer. One to two paragraphs.

Finding a Practice Partner (optional discussion):Next week’s discussion involves a practice partner. If you would like to connect with someone from this class to practice with, please post here and make connections with one another. I will not be monitoring this discussion board.

HINT: We are starting to work with theDifficult Conversationbook next week and will continue the focus we have started this week on communicating withadults.





Reflective Listening:(While the speaker is a therapist, the content is useful for everyone. )https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=what+is+reflective+listening&docid=608027267386311561&mid=44F9629ECC5BAE54704B44F9629ECC5BAE54704B&view=detail&FORM=VIRE(Links to an external site.)


The Importance of Promoting Diversity in Early Childhood Education Programs:https://infantcrier.mi-aimh.org/the-importance-of-promoting-diversity-in-early-childhood-programs/(Links to an external site.)

How Discrimination Hurts Children:https://www.mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/risks-and-protective-factors/vulnerable-children/discrimination/(Links to an external site.)

Teaching Children About Diversity:https://extension.psu.edu/programs/betterkidcare/knowledge-areas/environment-curriculum/activities/all-activities/we-are-different-we-are-the-same-teaching-young-children-about-diversity(Links to an external site.)


Reflective Listening Video:

  • Part 1:
    1. In your own words, why is reflective listening helpful? Note that reflective listening is also sometimes called “paraphrasing” and/or “active listening.” (not more than a few sentences)
    2. What are the three levels of reflective listening presented in this video? (About a paragraph)
    3. What are the key tools for reflective listening that the speaker recommends? (About a paragraph)
  • Part 2:Try out reflective listening with a practice partner. That can be someone in this class, or someone you select in your personal or work life. (Choose a situation that does not currently have any “static” or difficulty in it. You are simply seeking to practice these skills in a non-difficult situation.)Seek to reflect content, thoughts and feelings, and meaning.

Part 2 Write up:

  • Capture a small slice of the conversation and transcribe it here as best you can remember in script format. Don’t include more than three or four statements from each person (for a total of six to eight lines).
  • Write about a paragraph describing your experience practicing reflective listening.


    • What are your takeaways on the importance of diversity awareness in early childhood and afterschool environment? Back up your ideas with evidence from the readings/videos. (About a paragraph or so)
    • Give three ideas about how you can foster diversity and inclusion in your early childhood and afterschool classroom. Back up your ideas with credible evidence. If you wish, you may do additional research.



Difficult Conversations (DC) Chapter 1– Sort out the Three Conversations

DUE: Social and Emotional Learning Project

DISCUSSION: See Canvas for Details



Read:Chapter 2: Stop Arguing About Who's Right: Explore Each Other's Stories


Part 1: Name the five reasons why arguing about who is right is unproductive. (One sentence each. You may quote material.)

Part 2: Name the three reasons why we see the world differently than others. (One sentence each. You may quote material.)

Part 3: Explain the "And Stance" using your own words, supported by quoted material from the text. Two to three sentences. Use quoted material from text.

Part 4: Explain why exploring one each other's stories can be (one to two sentences) helpful and give one example from your workplace life where this approach might have been useful (or may be useful for an upcoming conversation) -- Up to a paragraph.

RESPONSE: As usual, respond to at least one other. Make it clear that you have read and understood the other's post. Refer to course material in your own response.



READDC: Ch. 3: Don’t Assume They Meant it and Ch. 4: Abandon Blame




“The emotionally intelligent person is skilled in four areas; identifying emotions, using emotions, understanding emotions, and regulating emotions.” –John Mayer

READ:DC 5:Have Your Feelings andDC 6 “Ground Your Identity,”

DISCUSSION 1: Feelings

PART 1: Think of a time when yourfeelings“leaked” into a conversation in the workplace. What are some strategies that you might have used in order to help yourself feel more grounded in order to better engage with your parents, colleagues, or bosses? Use concepts from the chapter as well as previous work we have done in this course.

PART 2: How does knowing this information about feelings inform the approaches you may take with others in the future? That is, how will you take *their* feelings *and* your feelings into consideration? Use concepts from the chapter as well as previous work we have done in this course.

DISCUSSION 2: Identity

PART 1: Think of a time whenyour identitywas at stake in a workplace conflict situation. Be specific about how you *wanted* to be seen and how you believed you were being seen. How was your response to the conflict affected by experiencing that “identity quake”? Looking back, what attitudes, ideas, or skills might have been helpful? Be specific. Use page numbers.

PART 2: Now that you understand the importance ofidentityin communicating with others, how might it change your approach in working with others when you hae a differences of perspective? Be specific. Use page numbers.

RESPONSES: As usual, respond to at least one classmate with a thoughtful reply that demonstrates you have read and understood her post. Refer to course materials (use concept names).

HINT: Your final paper detailing your communications strengths and areas to work on is due the last week of class. You will also be making a short presentation on this paper (using either YuJa or VoiceThread). I suggest starting to take notes now and beginning to sketch out your paper and your presentation. Remember that you can earn extra credit points by demonstrating use of either a CCV in-person Learning Center or Tutor.com.



READ: Chapter 7 Purpose and Chapter 8 Getting Started

Optional Reading: Summary of Difficult Conversations Text:Difficult Conversations Summary and Review | Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen - StoryShots (getstoryshots.com)(Links to an external site.)

While this optional reading may support your understanding, please don't use it as a substitute for the textbook. You'll still need to refer to concepts and page numbers from the reading itself.




Read: Chapter 9 Learning and Chapter 10 Expression

Discussion: See Canvas

Hint: Look ahead to prepare for your final paper and presentation.



READ: DC 11 and Group Work Materials Posted

DISCUSSION: Problem Solving

  • Consider achallenging situationwith another adult you have faced in the past in your ECE/afterschool workplace. If you have not worked in ECE/afterschool, you may use any workplace situation.
  • Briefly describe the situation, being sure to frame it neutrally as you did in the previous module.
  • Briefly describethe approach you took, and as you look back, what parts were effective and what were not. Refer to course concepts.
  • If you could have a“do over,”what would you do differently to approach this difference more effectively. Refer to at least three course concepts.

HINT: Your final paper and presentation are due next week. Don't forget to earn extra credit by using tutoring.



Your Communication Strengths and Areas to Work On

Submit a well-developed YuJa or VoiceThread presentation about your current approach to communication including both yourstrengthsandareas that you are working on improving. Be specific about your strengths and challenges,referring to class concepts. Include a reference page slide.

I encourage you to include approaches to working with children as well as with adults. Consider ordering your presentatin in two sections (Adult / Child ) and further subdividing into Strengths / Areas to Improve. Example:

Adult Communication:


* Interpersonal Strengths

* Interpersonal Strengths Areas to Work On


* Teamwork Strengths

* Teamwork Areas to Work on

Child Communication:

* Strengths

* Areas to Work On

REMEMBER that you can also earn extra credit by demonstrating use of Tutor.com


* Use bullet points, not paragraphs.

* Your voice-over will fill in the blanks from the bullet points.

* Practice your verbal presentation, or, if using YuJa, use the "do-over" function to create each slide's voice-over to your liking. Avoid verbal fillers such as "um," "uh," "like," "you know," etc. Articulate your words so they can be clearly understood. Don't rush. Use the "music" of your voice to convey your enthusiasm about your topic.

* Use vocal transitions to help guide listeners from one point to the next. Examples:First, Next, In spite of, Nevertheless, To illustrate, etc.

* Use a clean, easy-to-read design. Dark type on light background is best. Use simple fonts.

* Use only copyright-free images.


Respond to at least one (1) other student by asking a question or making an observation. As usual, use course content and vocabulary.

Note that if someone asks you a question or responds to you, you should reply since that student has taken the time and energy to view your presentation.


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations

I do not grade participation as a separate grade; however, to earn the best grades on discussion forums , I encourage you to:

  • Read the assigned material and demonstrate an understanding of those resources in your assignments and posts. Readings and resources should be cited using either MLA or APA format (your choice -- don't mix them).
  • Meet weekly discussion forum deadlines (Wednesdays at 10:01 a.m.) by posting an original response to the weekly prompt(s) before. Unless otherwise specified, please make a minimum of two responses to peers before Friday at 11:59 p.m. You are welcome to post early and/or more frequently, as your schedule allows, but you will not receive full credit if you do not meet these minimum requirements and/or deadlines. The discussion forums close on Saturday at 11:59 p.m No late posts are allowed.
  • I recommend that you read the prompt(s) BEFORE you start your reading for the week. Take notes along the way so that you can craft a response that refers directly to course concepts and material.
  • Draft your post before submitting. Review and revise before submitting. Posts should be both concise and substantive and should demonstrate college-level writing. A substantive post is well-developed, follows the directions for the discussion, references the reading or another appropriate source. A substantive post is NOT one or two sentences of general statements or unsupported opinion.
  • It's fine to express empathy and care for your colleagues in the class; however, that does not substitute for a substantive post that demonstrates that you are gaining facility with course concepts and ideas.
  • Remember that 65% of your discussion forum grade connects to your first post. The remaining 35% are earned by responding to classmates and the instructor. If you do not make the minimum number of responses and/or you do not respond to the instructor or classmates who engage you, you will not earn full points.

Missing & Late Work Policy

Please submit work on time. This is a key professional skill.

Assignments (such as homework, journals, essays, and presentations) are due on Tuesdays by 11:59 p.m. However, I am aware that sometimes "life gets in the way." Therefore, for all assignments (not discussion forums), there is a one-week grace period. That means that you may submit assignments up to one week late, but there is a ten-point deduction. After one week, the assignment portals will be closed and you will receive a zero for the assignment.

Discussion forum posts are due on Wednesdays by 10:01 a.m. You may submit early if you wish. If you make your post after 10:01 a.m. on Wednesday, it will be counted as late and will earn a ten-point deduction.

Discussion forums close on Saturday at 11:59 p.m. No late posts are allowed since that is like coming to class after everyone has gone home.

If you have serious extenuating circumstances that prevent you from getting work in on time, please be in touch with me so that we can discuss whether this is the right term for you to take this course.

Note that this is not high school. You must keep up with the work each week. Please don't ask at the last minute for extra credit or for ways to make up missed work. If you have a concern, be in touch with me AS SOON AS THE CONCERN EMERGES.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.