Communication and Collaboration
Engaging learners in the learning progression encompasses communication and collaboration skills, practices and sympathies. Providing for students requirements is a composite process and it may even be more difficult when a class has learners with special needs or disabilities. In this case, a teacher may find it necessary to interact efficiently with other teachers, school administration, and professional support staff in addition to other special education suppliers. Teacher’s capability to collaboratively work collectively as a group of experts impacts on the learning results desired by all students (Friend & Cook, 2007). This paper will focus on communication and collaboration processes and skills that one would employ as a year level coordinator to inspire cooperative planning timeline adherence and a mutual collaborative focus on distinguished learning for students with special needs.
Communication is one of the main focuses of this paper. What is communication? Communication is the process of handing over information through the swapping of opinions, messages, or information, by means of speech, signals, writing, or conduct (DeVito, 2005). Communication demands a source, a message, and a receiver, even though the receiver must not be existing or aware of the sender’s intent to converse at the spell of communication; therefore, communication can happen across huge distances in space and time. Communication necessitates that the connecting parties share a region of talkative harmony (DeVito, 2005). The communication practice is complete as soon as the receiver has apprehended the meaning of the sender
Communication and collaboration goes hand in hand with one another in education particularly in teaching and learning (Bauwens, 1989). There is therefore a need for advanced collaboration among tutors in the schools specifically in centering on ways of boosting collaborative planning timeline adherence and a combined collaborative focus on differentiated learning for students with special needs (Phillips, 1990). The aim of this paper is to refer to communication and collaboration processes and skills that would be utilized by a year level coordinator to encourage collaborative planning timeline adherence and a combined collaborative focus on differentiated learning for students with special needs. The atmosphere of educational collaboration as one essential key to professional sharing of finest practices in the rationalization of schools in order to take care of distinguished learning for learners with special needs will be deliberated. Issues of Collaboration Processes, Collaboration skills, Communication Processes and Communication Skills will form the center of discussion in this paper.
The fundamental to successful collaborations is communication. There is need therefore for development of collaborative and communicative expertise and skills which could be useful to different scenarios in teaching and learning activities, especially where student with special needs are involved.
Communication process takes different forms depending on the parties involved in communication (DeVito, 2005). There is verbal communication in which words are used to exchange message and non-verbal communication which uses sign, body movement, and facial expression to convey message. There is another form called interpersonal communication that occurs between individuals who have a connection or affiliation. Interpersonal communication happens when one sends or obtains messages and when an individual allocate meaning to such messages (DeVito, 2005).
With the intention of obtaining shared engagement between teacher and students, there are needs for ongoing conveyed activity and mutual responsibility (Bauwens, 1989). A joint innovativeness allows for variety of activities where every single individual takes accountability for their personal learning (Bauwens, 1989). This means that students should be involved in making the judgments around the curriculum. The teacher should fix the restrictions around the curriculum determined, guaranteeing that the school’s projected curriculum is being imparted.
Collaboration may different definition depending on the context in whit it is being used. Therefore, collaboration may mean different things according to the perspective in reference. Sometimes collaboration may be mean working together in a classroom to educate a group of students that includes learners with disabilities (White, 1992). In different times collaboration may be describing meetings whose attention is to discuss learners who are newcomers to the school. Also, collaboration may be used in pressing on the determinations of the school’s staff improvement committee or any circumstances in which they work strictly with other teachers (Phillips, 1990). In this paper’s perspective collaboration will be used in the context of cooperative focus on differentiated learning for students with special needs.
In unfolding the collaboration and communication practices, and skills that one would employ as a year level coordinator to boost collaborative planning timeline devotion and a combined collaborative focus on segregated learning for students with special needs, the following are the phases plus the communication and collaboration skills that would be very useful in this scenario:
Stage 1: Setting up the planning meeting
Planning meeting, this will be a meeting aimed at bringing all the participants in school in order to discuss this cooperative planning timeline devotion and a collective collaborative focus on segregated learning for students with special needs (Laycock, 1991). It is through this meeting that all the observations will be accepted. Views and opinions from all the teachers will be considered. All teachers in this meeting will have full knowledge of the current curriculum. Thus, suggestions from teacher concerning the alteration in curriculum to suit students with special needs will be welcomed from them. This will help in making amendments will improve it and make it more applicable (Ashman & Elkins, 2009). These observations on curriculum amendment will be pinpointed on helping the students with special needs. The communication process to be used will include verbal and non-verbal communication. This will make sure those members who experience language barrier will able to use non-verbal communication to air their views and opinions. This, specifically, will be important to the head of curriculum department who is Japanese. This meeting will be conducted in a school situation involving all professional in a conversation, a conversation that needs to be planned for and be collaborative. Also, in the conversation during the meeting, there will be involvement of DeVito’s Five-Stage Model of Conversation which include: Contact, Involvement, Intimacy, Repair, Deterioration and Dissolution
Stage 2: Scaffolding for a successful meeting
For a fruitful meeting in this educational situation, there will be a presence of the perception of adjusting the procedure to the time program of personnel concerned, creating an agenda of matters to be debated, sharing precise information, providing an appropriate setting with satisfactory facilities for the discussing participants, exploiting operative communications, and offering an escape hatch for solving stalemates.
This meeting carries a lot of weight due to the set aims which must be achieved by the end of the meeting. In this meeting, there will be a well-defined program which will firmly be followed. To ensure satisfactory facilities for the discussing participants, the meeting will be held indoor in a well arranged room with chairs and tables within the school environment. The participant will be given factual information at the beginning of the meeting which will act as a guide in what will be discussed. Each and every item of discussion will be allocated a certain time in which all the issue concerning that item will be discussed will all the participant airing their views. It is through communication that participants will be able to take part in the discussion activities (DeVito, 2005). Therefore, exploiting operative communications will be essential for success of this meeting. The form of communication that will be used will ensure the flow of discussion with all the members participating.
Both verbal and non-verbal forms of communication will be used. Due to the fact that the Head of Curriculum is Japanese, this will be an impasses which will be given an escape hatch of ensuring that all participant will be able to use both verbal and non-verbal forms of communication. Additionally, in the conversation during the meeting, appropriate mode of communication will be used. This will necessitate use of DeVito’s Five-Stage Model of Conversation which includes: Contact, Involvement, Repair, Intimacy, Deterioration and Dissolution. This therefore will have solved this stalemate. Ensuring all this, the planning meeting will be expected to be successful.
Stage 3: Conducting the meeting with a focus on collaborative discussion and decision making
The main purpose of this meeting is discussion of year level coordinator on issues that would encourage collaborative planning timeline adherence and a mutual collaborative emphasis on differentiated learning for learners with special needs.
On collaborative discussion, various aspects of collaboration on issues to be negotiated by teachers will be discussed. Teachers who are the participants will have ample chances to take part in the discussion. For the discussion to be effective, each and every participant will have ample time to raise and support their views. Queries will be encouraged from other participants concerning an issue raised by a certain participant. This will ensure no any void will emerge during the discussion process
There will be controlled conversations- as part of an entire group, in tiny groups, and with participants. Being productive participant of these conversations in the discussion require that participants contribute exact significant information and react to and improve what others have alleged (DeVito, 2005). Discussion will also involve making comparisons and contrasts; and evaluate and fuse a mass of ideas in different domains.
It is also through discussion that participants will learn that teachers who collaborate need to believe that all persons’ contributions are appreciated equally. This will help teachers to accept the suggestions raised by the students with special needs (Morsink, 1991). This will in turn lead to collective stress on segregated learning for learners with special needs especially when their views are taken into considerations (Morsink, 1991).
Through discussion in this meeting Professional Standards for Teachers, outline the educational and other proficient knowledge and expertise obligatory of all teachers will be discussed and consideration put forward on how communication and collaboration is entrenched in those professional standards. This is particularly important.
On the decision making, teacher will be made to understand that collaboration is deliberate. Through discussion, instructors will be required to work in close vicinity and collaborate with colleagues. There will be an encouragement to make a personal choice by teachers to work collaboratively in such situations that require collaborative planning timeline adherence and a mutual collaborative emphasis on differentiated learning for learners with special needs.
Stage 4: Reflecting upon the meeting
Without forgetting the aim of this meeting, the planning meeting has a lot to contribute in encouraging collaborative planning timeline adherence and a mutual collaborative emphasis on differentiated learning for learners with special needs.
In this meeting, different aspect emerges. Most of the discussion process during this meeting takes place through verbal communication. Participants use words to express their view and ideas concerning the matter being discussed. Also, queries and responses from other members are through verbal communication. This shows the importance of verbal communication and how it can be used in contributing to teaching and learning process and in encouraging collaborative planning timeline adherence and a mutual collaborative emphasis on differentiated learning for learners with special needs.
As earlier mentioned, the head of curriculum is Japanese. This in itself has an impact on the way the meeting takes place. From this, the aspect of non-verbal communication emerges. Owing to the importance of the head of curriculum, Japanese, non-verbal communication comes into effect in order to maintain a free flow of discussion process during the meeting. Use of non-verbal communication during the meeting makes the participants; teachers understand its importance in the learning process especially to students with special needs. This therefore contributes in encouraging collaborative planning timeline adherence and a mutual collaborative emphasis on differentiated learning for learners with special needs. This therefore indicates the importance of non-verbal communication in various aspects especially to the differentiated individual who are different from the majority.
In the meeting, discussion takes center stage. There are aspects of exchange of ideas, views and opinions. There is also agreement and disagreements. All this aspects lead to the emergence of emotional communication in which anger, content and happiness is expressed. All this therefore, transfer messages to the other parties in the meeting. Emotional communication therefore is important in various situations including in teaching and learning to students with special needs (DeVito, 2005).
Interpersonal conflict emerges during meeting especially due to different motivations and expectations of participants. This can be solved through conflict management strategies. This is very important in order to ensure that the aim of planning meeting is realized. The issue of interpersonal conflict and conflict management strategies is very important not only in the meeting and in encouraging collaborative planning timeline adherence and a mutual collaborative emphasis on differentiated learning for learners with special needs but also in mainstream school with students with special needs (White, 1992).
Also, in the conversation during the meeting, there will be involvement of DeVito’s Five-Stage Model of Conversation which includes: Contact, Involvement, Intimacy, Repair, Deterioration and Dissolution. Contact will help members to concentrate on what is being discussed in relation to the aim of the meeting (DeVito, 2011). It is through Involvement that all members will contribute their views and opinions ensuring everyone have contributed to the discussion. If any conflict emerges, Repair will always be done in order to keep everything flowing without any hitches (DeVito, 2011). Deterioration will be useful when some conversation will be condoned in order to avoid conflict. Finally, Dissolution, will take effect when an issue will be decided on thus calling for members to move on.
In deduction, communication process, communication skills, collaboration processes and collaboration skill, are key ingredient one can use to inspire collaborative planning timeline adherence and a collective collaborative emphasis on differentiated learning for learners with special needs.