Incivility, politeness theory, instructional communication, face, classroom incivility, facework, active incivility, passive incivility, instructor responses, classroom management
This study examines levels of politeness in real time instructor responses to classroom incivility behaviors. Student participants were randomly assigned to view a video of an instructor responding to either passive or active student incivility behaviors in various ways. The responses were based on politeness theory conceptualizations of avoidance, mid-level politeness, or bald on record responses. A 2 (i.e., passive, active student incivility) x 3 (i.e., avoidance, mid-level, or bald on record instructor response) experimental design formed six conditions. High quality video simulations of a classroom environment, portraying one of the six conditions, were created to specifically address these dimensions. Participants took a web based survey and evaluated the instructor with respect to effectiveness, credibility, and impact on student motivation. Results demonstrate students had most positive responses to bald on record instructor responses to active student incivility. When responding to passive student incivility, a less harsh response (i.e., avoidance, mid-level), while not significantly different from a bald on record response, indicate better outcomes. Therefore, in accordance with politeness theory, instructors should consider the level of imposition created by uncivil student behavior when calibrating responses, as student perceptions can be greatly affected. Theoretical and practical considerations as well as avenues for future research are presented.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Communication; Interpersonal Communication
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Yrisarry, Natalie, "Instructor Response to Uncivil Behaviors in the Classroom: An Application of Politeness Theory" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1322.