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SPE-491-21/SPE-576-50, Top: Comm Skills/School Base Prof (SP13)

INSTRUCTOR: Careen R. Mayer, crmayer@verizon.net

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: SEM/Tuesday/5:00 – 7:45 p.m./01/29/2013-04/09/2013          

ABSENCES:  2 point reduction plus make-up assignment for missing any class.

CONTENT: This course, taught in either the Education or Psychology Department, would include the essentials of a human relations skills course and address issues related to effective, collaborative team coordination in various programs providing services to school age children. Teaming for academic and social/emotional concerns, effective preventative interventions, resolving conflict, utilization of school and community resources and effective communication with parents or primary caretakers and support or monitoring agencies will be included.


  • Examine the theoretical basis of conflict resolution strategies.  
  • Explore personal conflict styles and anger management.   
  • Practice communication and conflict resolution skills.    
  • Participate in self-reflective exercises dealing with conflict and teaming.   
  • Develop and demonstrate interactive teaming skills. 
  • Explore cultural and linguistic considerations for diverse teams. 
  • Examine strategies for meeting the educational needs of students with disabilities.


Material will be presented through lectures, cooperative learning, role-plays, student presentations, self-reflection, research projects, and videos.


Describe a conflict within your school, team, class, or family in which you were closely involved:

  • Detail the conflict and the events preceding it.
  • Analyze and identify the conflict modes using the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument.
  • Identify myths regarding conflict that played a role in the process.
  • Describe the resolution.

Conduct an interview with a parent or guardian of a child with a disability who is culturally different from you.

Using APA format, prepare a 10-12-page paper, called a Communication Plan, on a special education topic of importance or interest to you.

  • Research the topic using the text, journal articles, periodicals, or books.
  • Interview an expert.
  • Relate you own experiences.
  • Create handouts, a brochure, poster, chart or PowerPoint presentation.
  • Develop a strategy for implementing your Communication Plan, and a time line.

Working collaboratively on a team, develop a presentation for the class on a topic involving special education. Participate in the presentation.


Interactive Teaming: Enhancing Programs for Students with Special Needs, 4th Edition. Carol Thomas, Vivian Correa & Catherine Morsink. ISBN 0-13-112592-3.


Attendance and participation (30%)

Assignments (60%)