Students and faculty need to be empowered so they can construct a culture of respect and civility in and out of the classroom. Classroom incivility can be found in its many forms, but the largest area of concern by far is cell phone usage.
Incivility in high school classrooms and undergraduate programs can be successfully addressed by empowering both faculty and students to contribute to the general culture of respect and civility. The use of cell phones by students is obvious and often overlooked.
Take a moment to consider the culture that has become so prevalent and then add to this culture teacher cell phone use. Students are not paying attention because they are using cell phones, and teachers are not fully engaged in the teaching process because they are on their cell phones as well.
We must ask ourselves, is any learning being accomplished?
We can not know if empowering students and faculty to understand all aspects of incivility in the undergraduate program will inspire a new culture of respect and civility. These are just a few of the questions that must be answered:
1. How knowledgeable are students and faculty as it pertains to incivility and the behaviors that comprise it.
2. Can students and faculty become empowered and motivated to practice respect and civility in and out of the undergraduate classroom?
3. What are faculty and students' perceptions of the change, if any, that occurred in relation to a change of culture from incivility to mutual respect?
Incivility in education is often referred to as classroom incivility. Incivility includes a wide range of social actions that can be defined as rude or discourteous.
Classroom incivility includes any intentional behavior of students or faculty that disrupts or interferes with the teaching and learning process.
Incivility can also occur in an academic setting in the form of adult bullying as it pertains to faculty members.
This results in oppressive repercussions in the form of humiliation, resentment, and demoralization. Faculty incivility can be recognized as any instances in which condescending remarks are made, unannounced course changes are made, students are belittled, the instructor is emotionally distant, or arrogance is displayed towards students. Incivility occurs outside the classroom in the form of missing scheduled appointments with faculty, requesting grade changes, and inappropriate clothing.
Previous studies have found that faculty and students should be trained to deal with classroom incivility. Counselor educators and students can be effectively taught about incivility using observations and videos. Students have been shown to benefit from understanding the impact incivility has on the learning environment.
Understanding the behaviors that lead to incivility in the classroom is necessary for addressing this problem in higher education. It is also recommended that students be empowered to adopt more active responses to incivility. Improving interactions between students and faculty will enhance student learning and create a culture of respect.
Ultimately, a proactive policy of zero tolerance for incivility could be promoted. One should always keep in mind that universities have an ethical obligation to promote and maintain a respectful and productive work environment.
Social learning theory can be a valuable tool for administrators to understand the concept of incivility in the classroom. This theory can also instigate the necessary changes for a more productive learning environment.
By definition, social theory or observational theory is when a student's behavior changes after observing others' behavior.
These changes can be positive, or they can be every teacher's nightmare. Students in lower grades tend to mimic what they see. If they see other students not thinking about their choices (cognitive), they will choose to do the same. The reverse of this is also true; if they see model students exhibiting good behavior, they will model them themselves. In this way, social theory and behaviorism are very similar. The social theory explains the importance of working together in collaborative groups. A group of students and teachers could be all that is needed to change the environment of the entire institution.