Tag Archives: classroom

Professor-Student Interactions and Student Participation: Comparing the Effects of Body Language and Sex on Classroom Participation

Luke Brenneman, Wes Bass, Jordan Peterson, Huntington University

Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v10/brenneman.html

Abstract Despite extensive research and widely-held belief supporting the fact that educators call on males more than females in the classroom, the sex of students may overshadow the importance of the body language typical of each sex in classroom interactions between educators and students. This study sought to explore how significantly body language influences professor-student interactions through the use of classroom observation and self-reported surveys at a small Midwestern university. Results of both observation and surveys were analyzed primarily by using frequencies and percentages in order to measure the extent to which the independent variable, body language and sex of students, is correlated to the dependent variable, student participation and professors’ interactions with students based on sex. Results indicated that a combination of a student being a male and exhibiting several specific positions of male-associated body language is correlated with more professor-student interactions than any other variable combination. When combined with data about females displaying certain elements of each sex’s body language, results strongly suggested that a combination of sex and sex-associated body language determine frequency and quality of educator-student interactions.

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