by Hatice Dogan

Hatice Dogan discusses teaching with CONNECT Module 3 on Communication and Collaboration. She currently co-teaches the course Families and Teams in Early Childhood Intervention: Interdisciplinary and Sociocultural Perspectives at UNC Chapel Hill.

I was excited to see the 3rd CONNECT Module on Communication for Collaboration as this had always been a topic that was much needed but often times challenging to address.  As professionals in early childhood education, being able to communicate effectively with children, parents, and coworkers is critical to our work.

But how do we teach about effective communication practices to collaborate with families and other professionals? As someone who is relatively new to teaching at the college level, I did not have the inventory of materials that the more seasoned professor may have. Therefore, this module was a great help in enhancing my lessons.  Additionally, it was also a perfect match for the interdisciplinary course. These are the people who have to learn to communicate and collaborate with each other!

The course, Families and Teams, is a master’s level class with early childhood professionals, early interventionists, and allied health professionals.  In this course we discuss the role of families in early education and intervention and how to collaborate with teams, specifically teachers, therapists, and administrators.  I used the CONNECT module when we discussed what teaming was and the positive outcomes of teaming.  We also discussed some of the barriers to teaming; lack of effective communication was one of those. Students used the dilemmas with the teacher’s and therapist’s perspectives to come up with strategies for communication that would work for everyone, including the parents and child.  Students were also provided with the handouts and checklists for effective communication, and they found these to be particularly useful.  These are resources students can use to evaluate any scenario if they want to focus on how professionals and parents are communicating effectively.

About the Author: Hatice Dogan is a Doctoral student in Early Childhood, Intervention and Literacy and works with the Early Childhood Intervention and Family Support program at UNC Chapel Hill. She currently co-teaches the course Families and Teams in Early Childhood Intervention: Interdisciplinary and Sociocultural Perspectives.

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS

  • How do you currently work with learners to develop communication skills?
  • Are you using any online resources or activities to teach communication practices or collaboration?

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