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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 06-Apr-23

Summer 2023 | COM-1015-VT01 - Communication in the Early Childhood Education & Afterschool Workplace

In Person Class

Standard courses meet in person at CCV centers, typically once each week for the duration of the semester.

Location: Brattleboro
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Thursday, 05:30P - 09:00P
Semester Dates: 05-25-2023 to 08-10-2023
Last day to drop without a grade: 06-12-2023 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 07-10-2023 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


Debra Gass
View Faculty Credentials

Hiring Coordinator for this course: Collin Lee

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

This course only uses free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials. For details, see the Canvas Site for this class.


Instructor will present information and guidance to stimulate an learning experience with face-to-face weekly campus classroom sessions. Activities will be informed by textbook reading, written and creative assignments, student and instructor research and experience, field observations, interviews, responses to journal articles/documentaries/Ted Talks, etc., and personal/professional written reflections. Students will build their learning community by participating in weekly classroom activities which include role play exercises, lectures, resources, discussions, and field observations. Final project will be a structured role play to demonstrate sufficient grasp of course learning objectives. No quizzes nor tests. All "written" assignments shall be submitted in Canvas in Microsoft Word using APA formatting when required. Hard copy work will not be accepted. Work must be submitted in Canvas classroom to be graded.

Students must have access to the required textbooks for this course: How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk ,The Tactful Teacher Effective Communication with Parents, Colleagues, and Administrators and Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life; Create Your Life, Your Relationships, and Your World in Harmony with Your Values. Each week students are expected to read chapters of the text in order to be participate fully in the related activities and assignments. The weekly chapter reading assignments will be a minimum of 50 pages.

Each week students are expected to be prepared for and attend class and participate in classroom activities fully. Students are expected to post their work in the Canvas Assignments provided links.

Students must have reliable access to a computer, be comfortable with and ready to learn more about computer and technology use and be able to navigate the internet in order to participate in this class. Proficiency in the use of Canvas classroom platform is recommended.

Evaluation Criteria

72 points classroom participation: 6 points x 12 sessions

12 points: Mid-term Reflective Essay

16 points: Final Project Presentation

Late assignment submissions (up to one week) will automatically drop one letter grade. Anything submitted after one week of the due date will receive a zero score.

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


Introductions and Overview of Course Expectations

Listening as a Communication Skill


The Tactful Teacher: Read Part 1 & Part 11 pages 3-46


Create "I Am" collages this week to bring to class next week. Instructions for this assignment will be given in our first class.



Hearing your voice: "I Am" Collage Presentations

Building Self-Confidence and Building Important Relationships With Classmates


The Tactful Teacher: Read Part 3 pages 53-107


Complete online personality assessment and be prepared to discuss your communication style in class next week.



Individual Personality Types, Communication Strengths and Challenges

Role Plays in Class

Confidentiality and Trauma Informed Communication Skills.


The Tactful Teacher: Read Part IV & Appendix pages 110-134



Factors That Influence Communication Patterns Across Diverse Populations. Discussion and Roleplays. Practice Communication Strategies to Support Diverse Populations.


Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life Read Chapters 1,2, 3 & 4 pages 1-47


Begin to write reflective essay for mid-term assignment. Instructions will be provided in class.



Guiding and Facilitating Parent Meetings: In class observation of Zoom Policy Council Meeting

Technology and Communication.


Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life Read Chapters 5, 6, 7 & 8 pages 49-123


Observation notes of Policy Council Meeting. Work on mid-term reflective essay due next week. Instructions given in class.



Managing Difficult Conversations

Discussion and Roleplays


Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life Read Chapters 9,10,11 & 12 pages 129-180


Mid-term reflective essay due this week.



Facilitating Staff Meetings

Team Dynamics & Small Group Work

Discussion and Roleplays


Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life Read Chapter 13 pages 185-191

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk Read A Letter to Readers, How to Read and Use This Book and Chapter 1 pages xi-47



Conversations With Children

Discussion and Roleplays


How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk Read Chapters 2 & 3 pages 48-138



Communication Skills for Interacting With Children

Role Plays and Discussion


How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk Read Chapters 4 & 5 pages 139-204



Working and Communicating With Parents, Program Partners, Collaborators and Community

Role Plays and Discussion


How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk Read Chapters 6 & 7 pages 205-240


Practice role plays for final presentation.



Advocacy Skills and Roleplays

Identifying Goals and Strategies for Individual Professional Development Relating To Communication


How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk Read: Afterward pages 241-332 and Name Calling and Bad Language at the end of the book


Practice role plays for final presentation.



Final Project Presentations: Roleplays Reflecting Skills Learned To Meet Essential Learning Objectives of this course.


Prepare roleplays for class presentations this week.


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

Students are expected to report to class at the designated start time. Weekly participation is graded. Absences or reporting to class more than 15 minutes late will be reflected in a lower participation grade score.

Two or more absences will require a discussion with the instructor and student advisor. Three absences will result in an F final course grade score.

Missing & Late Work Policy

Late assignment submissions (up to one week) will automatically drop one letter grade. Anything submitted after one week of the due date will receive a zero score.

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.