Instructor Response to Uncivil Behaviors in the Classroom: An Application of Politeness Theory

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Natalie Yrisarry
Lindsay Neuberger
Ann Neville Miller

Abstract

We investigated student perceptions of instructor responses to classroom incivility with a 2 (passive or active student incivility) x 2 (instructor avoidance or bald-on-record response) experimental design. Undergraduate students (n = 281) were randomly assigned to view one of four videos of an incivility incident. They then evaluated the instructor’s behavior with respect to her credibility (competence, caring, and trustworthiness) and effectiveness, as well as how motivating the instructor was. Results indicated that when students in the video engaged in active incivility, bald-on-record responses in comparison to avoidance were considered to be more motivating and effective, and resulted in higher perceptions of instructor caring and trustworthiness. In the passive incivility condition, instructor response did not predict any outcome variable except trustworthiness.

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How to Cite
Yrisarry, N., Neuberger, L., & Miller, A. (2019). Instructor Response to Uncivil Behaviors in the Classroom: An Application of Politeness Theory. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 19(4). https://doi.org/10.14434/josotl.v19i4.24505
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