Nav: Home

'Authentic' teachers are better at engaging with their students

May 25, 2017

Teachers who have an authentic teaching style are more positively received by their students, according to new research published in the National Communication Association's journal, Communication Education.

To achieve a more authentic style, teachers should use time before and after class to converse with students, allow opportunity to share experiences, and view teaching as an opportunity for dialogue between themselves and their students.

However, to be truly authentic, teachers should enact such behaviors only so far as their personality and demeanor naturally allow, say study authors Professor Zac Johnson of California State University and Professor Sara LaBelle of Chapman University.

Around 300 college students were questioned about their perceptions of authentic and inauthentic teacher behavior and communication. Responses indicated that authentic teachers were seen as approachable, passionate, attentive, capable, and knowledgeable, while inauthentic teachers were viewed as unapproachable, lacking passion, inattentive, incapable, and disrespectful.

Authentic teachers showed a willingness to share details of their life, and displayed elements of their humanity by telling personal stories, making jokes, and admitting mistakes. They also demonstrated care and compassion toward students by recognizing them as individuals and attending to their needs both academically and personally, for example, by emailing those absent from class due to illness to ask how they were.

According to the authors, "Our participants made it clear that a teacher's efforts to view themselves and their students as individuals had a lasting impact. The process of teaching authentically need not be more complicated than making simple and direct statements regarding the level of concern and care that a teacher holds for their students.

"Our implication is not simply that teachers should engage in limitless amounts of self-disclosure. Rather, by making efforts to engage with students beyond their expected roles in the classroom, teachers can greatly impact students' perceptions of them and their course."

Students report higher levels of learning and deeper understanding in learning experiences described as authentic. Perhaps more importantly, at-risk students are positively impacted by teachers they perceive as authentic in their communication. By teaching authentically, teachers may create more meaningful experiences and deeper learning for all students in a variety of settings and across disciplines, the authors conclude.

Lead author Johnson also commented, "This research indicated that students do pay attention to the messages we send about ourselves in the classroom, and that their perception of those messages seem to play an important role in how they connect to the content of the course. Further, our findings suggest that we must attempt to be thoughtful when presenting our true self; not dishonest or antithetical to our real self, but rather cognizant of how students might perceive our actions. Overall, authentic communication appears to be a critical component of meaningful communication in multiple contexts."
-end-


Taylor & Francis Group

Related Learning Articles:

Learning with light: New system allows optical 'deep learning'
A team of researchers at MIT and elsewhere has come up with a new approach to complex computations, using light instead of electricity.
Mount Sinai study reveals how learning in the present shapes future learning
The prefrontal cortex shapes memory formation by modulating hippocampal encoding.
Better learning through zinc?
Zinc is a vital micronutrient involved in many cellular processes: For example, in learning and memory processes, it plays a role that is not yet understood.
Deep learning and stock trading
A study undertaken by researchers at the School of Business and Economics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has shown that computer programs that algorithms based on artificial intelligence are able to make profitable investment decisions.
Learning makes animals intelligent
The fact that animals can use tools, have self-control and certain expectations of life can be explained with the help of a new learning model for animal behavior.
Learning Morse code without trying
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a system that teaches people Morse code within four hours using a series of vibrations felt near the ear.
The adolescent brain is adapted to learning
Teenagers are often portrayed as seeking immediate gratification, but new work suggests that their sensitivity to reward could be part of an evolutionary adaptation to learn from their environment.
The brain watched during language learning
Researchers from Nijmegen, the Netherlands, have for the first time captured images of the brain during the initial hours and days of learning a new language.
Learning in the absence of external feedback
Rewards act as external factors that influence and reinforce learning processes.
New learning procedure for neural networks
Neural networks learn to link temporally dispersed stimuli.

Related Learning Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...