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Immediacy And Affective Learning It Is Important To Use A Wide Range Of Immediacy Behaviors To Positively Influence The Affective Learning Of Every Child.

2843 words - 11 pages

On the first day of school the children rush towards class with excitement, anticipation, and maybe a little worry about what their teacher will be like this year. Their minds are open and willing to learn, sponges ready to soak up any and all information offered. The teacher is standing at the door greeting each child. "What is your name? Sally, I am so glad you are here today. We are going to have so much fun. And what is your name? Ben, I am so glad to meet you, como esta? I have prepared a desk just for you. Do you know how to spell your name? Good! Go inside and see if you can find your desk." The students are smiling as they enter the classroom and eagerly search for their desk. After all the students are at their desks the teacher goes to the head of the class and gets everyone's attention by quietly saying "Good morning, Buenos dias, everyone." She waits for a moment and then when eyes are on her says, "Today we are going to get to know each other by playing games together, drawing pictures, and reading a book." As the day progresses the teacher actively listens to the students, she makes the effort to learn each child's name, she is watching the room and prepared to intervene if a problem arises. She shows the students that she cares and helps them feel welcome at school. Using communication skills this teacher has developed an affective teaching style to enhance her students learning. In a multi-cultural classroom it is important to use a wide range of immediacy behaviors to positively influence the affective learning of every child.The main purpose of using immediacy behavior in the classroom is to improve affect or liking for the teacher, subject matter and learning. To be able to do this there must be an understanding of immediacy behavior and affective learning. Immediacy, as originally defined by Mehrabian (1971), refers to behaviors of approach and avoidance related to one's sense of liking. That is "people are drawn toward persons and things they like, evaluate highly, and prefer; and they avoid or move away from things they dislike, evaluate negatively, or do not prefer" (Mehrabian, 1971, p.1).Teachers use both non-verbal and verbal immediacy behaviors. They display non-verbal immediacy by using positive facial expressions, changing vocal tonalities, assuming a relaxed body posture, leaning into a conversation, making eye contact, arranging an appropriate classroom environment, removing physical barriers such as a desk, and using hand gestures. Behaviors such as using students' first names, adding humor to lessons, asking for students opinions, using plural pronouns such as us and we, and practicing self-disclosure are examples of verbal immediacy (Johnson & Miller, 2002 p. 281). As stated by Cooper and Simonds (2003), "immediate teachers are viewed as approachable, friendly, open and responsive to student needs. Immediate teachers are also perceived as warm and relaxed" (Cooper and Simonds, 2003, p. 44).One of the goals I...

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