Understanding “Incivility” In The Classroom

Understanding “Incivility” In The Classroom

Incivility in the classroom at college or university level education is a growing concern globally. It mostly accounts for the disciplinary issues that affects all the students, teachers, and the overall culture of the institution, hence, calling the need of a controlled, disciplined environment that promotes equality and quality learning more than ever.

Apparently, the major chunk of this responsibility falls on the teacher, who should know that favorable responses and preventive measures can really bridge your relationships with the learners in the class. Do note that even small incivilities have the potential to disrupt your concentration, break the lines of discipline, and ruin the overall ambience of the classroom. How strongly the teacher controls his or her classroom has affects extending even beyond the walls of the college and into their life.

Understanding “Incivility”

Every teacher or institution may has its own definition of classroom incivility, however, the outcome remains the same—activities or discussions that result in unfavorable or somewhat offensive consequences. Talking during the lecture, arriving late or leaving early, packing/unpacking noisily, cheating, displaying aggressive behavior in discussions, coming unprepared, repeating questions to test the patience of the teacher, displaying improper body language and respect, etc. are all crucial examples of classroom incivility that should be immediately monitored and handled.

Other examples might include eating in class, displaying disinterest or boredom and dull expressions, not answering a direct question, using smartphones or laptops unnecessarily, listening to music, coming to the class wearing inappropriate dressing, asking special favors or groundless grade improvements, conflicting with the educator’s theories and claims on the subject matter discussed, practicing verbal or physical abuse, making threatening or vulgar gestures to other students or behind the teacher’s back, taunting poor or introvert students, passing discriminatory or religious sensitive comments, etc.

You must have now clearly got the idea how severe the application of classroom incivility and its consequences are. Agreeably, the most extreme or harmful forms of incivility from the above list are quite rare, but still a possibility in grave situations. And there is always some degree of incivility occurring at college or university level education too.

Unfortunately, the period of mid-1980s saw the most terrible forms of incivility in the schools, with some cases reporting faculty members or students getting physically harmed or even, murdered in cold blood.

Why the Rise of Incivility?

Over the course of last few years, the behavioral and disciplinary issues in the education sector have not turned any better, but only aggravated to quite an extent. The large diversity at the global level has brought students from different backgrounds, social class, occupation, demographics, cultural differences, etc. to sit in the same class.

The learner-educator breach has also widened as the teachers are entering the industry older and considerably specialized in their field. Additionally, as the institutions are swelling in size, they are becoming increasingly short-lived and objective in nature, which have resulted in the formation of distrust and indifference in the culture and interactions in the classroom.

There are several other factors to influence this as well. Nowadays, colleges and universities face increasing pressure to retain students, and in order to do so, they tend to acknowledge only the most serious cases of classroom incivility. Large classes taught by young, inexperienced educators are often said to be the worst places for originating classroom incivility.

However, the reasons to understand the origins of incivility are not that simple as said, and actually stems from beyond the walls of the institution. For example, abusive or neglecting parents, dysfunctional families, no efforts on the cognitive development since childhood, social and peer pressure, cultural norms, societal approvals/disapprovals, learner’s lack of interest in education, sense of entitlement, and the consumer attitude, etc. are all external contributors in an already chaotic learning place.

Do see that the last reason carries more significance as it is further explained through two aspects. First, students perceive college or university level education as an expensive prospect that their parents are providing them. Sadly, this perception leads them into a false impression that they should acquire top grades, after all, they invested more-than-enough in their major. Second, the perception of students taking the faculty and their worth in the industry. From the consumer’s perspective, teachers are well-qualified service providers who are supposed to teach and manage students’ educational requirements and concerns. In reality, despite their top qualifications and subject knowledge demonstrated in the classroom and on paper, they are relatively underpaid. The belief is further strengthened from the emphasis that students place on moneymaking careers and their materialistic approach, hence, degrading the respect for professional educators and their expertise even lower.

Author Bio

Margaret Jobs is a professional educational psychologist with a number of international publications to her name. She also conducts seasoned sessions in various colleges and universities catering both students and professionals in related fields. Besides her regular job and passion to educate learners for their cognitive betterment, Margaret is also a part of a top-notch custom assignment writing community catering a plethora of academic disciplines.