a few minutes ago
Immediacy is "the use of communication behaviors (e.g., movement, enthusiam, use of gestures, humor, vocal variety) that reduce both the psychological and physical distance between two individuals." This post is focused on nonverbal immediacy and the benefits research has shown it has for teachers. According to Mehrabian (1971), immediacy refers to communication behaviors that enhance closeness to and nonverbal interaction with another. Student evaluations of their teachers suggest that immediacy plays a big role on how students perceive teachers in cultures across the world.
Simply put. Teachers need to get closer to their students. There seems to be a magical effect that takes place when teachers put themselves nearer to their students.
Since I've read this research paper, I've been attempting to make this a habit. I've found that it is harder than it would seem.
The reality is I am somewhat tied to my computer/document camera, etc. When it does come to mind, I've found myself moving about the room as I give directions or during classroom discussions.
Practicing immediacy feels like a no-brainer while I'm employing it. Students seem more engaged as I am simply putting myself closer to the table that are sitting at as I walk throughout the room.
This idea seems so simple but yet silly at the same time. Who would have thought that simply being closer to our students had such a large effect on how our students perceived us and our credibility?
Now if we can only remember to do it more!
Source: The Impact of Teacher Immediacy and Misbehaviors on Teacher Credibility Katherine S Thweatt and James C McCrosky .
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