Body Language And Students


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Faculty should look for cues in the more silent communication they receive from students, to determine readiness to learn.

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Body Language And Students

  1. 1. Reading your students’ body language<br />Pedagogy Circle<br />Nov. 20, 2009<br />Joanne Chesley, Ed. D.<br />CETL<br />
  2. 2. Why does this matter?<br />Teaching is largely about communicating. information and skills (in addition to changing behaviors)<br />Communication is largely non-verbal.<br />Understanding the non-verbal communication we give and receive from students improves teaching and learning.<br />
  3. 3. A tiny piece of the research……<br />“There are two aspects to effective use of body language. <br />The firstinvolves the speaker’s choice and use of gesture, intonation, facial expression and visual features(clothing, make-up, grooming etc.).<br />The second aspect has to do with accurate perception and interpretation of others’ nonverbal messages (Goldin-Meadow, 2004; Goldin-Meadow & Sandhofer, 1999). <br />
  4. 4. Thus, each party’s effective use of nonverbal behaviors (gesture,facial expression, intonation, appearance etc.) can play a significant role in the<br /> effectiveness of discussions” (Rüştü Yeşil, 2008, p.895).<br />Rüştü Yeşil (2008). Evaluation of body language behavior in a class debate. <br /> Social Behavior and Personality, 36 (7), 893-902.<br />
  5. 5. These two aspects are not always complementary. Sometimes verbal and nonverbal messages can contradict one another (Alibali et al., 1997; Goldin-Meadow & Sandhofer,1999).<br />Sometimes the receivers of these messages can interpret the speaker’s nonverbal messages inaccurately (Goldin-Meadow, 2004; Goldin-Meadow & Wagner, 2005). <br />
  6. 6. So, to what body language should we pay attention?<br /><ul><li>whole body
  7. 7. torso
  8. 8. legs, feet
  9. 9. arms
  10. 10. hands
  11. 11. Face</li></ul>Yes, all of them!<br />
  12. 12. Types of Body Language<br />
  13. 13. Aggressive Body Language<br />signals thoughts of or intent to use force or other form of aggression<br />can be shown in the face, from disapproving frowns and pursed lips to sneers and full snarls.<br />clenching of fists , spreading of the body for stability <br />removing clothing or jewelry in an angry manner<br />moving into the other person’s space<br />
  14. 14. Attentive Body Language<br />signals interest in the other person and the message; is usually reciprocated<br />ignoring distractions (phone, talking, other)<br />stillness<br />leaning forward<br />tilting the head<br />gazing<br />furrowed brow<br />Interest noises<br />Open body (= open mind)<br />
  15. 15. Bored Body Language<br />signals that we would rather not be there, or that the material is uninteresting or irrelevant <br />looking anywhere but at the presenter<br />doodling<br />talking to others<br />staring<br />tapping toes<br />watching the clock<br />yawning, looking sleepy, slouching in seat<br />face is blank<br />
  16. 16. Closed Body Language<br />signals that we are feeling threatened, so we place a barrier there for protection<br />that we need to be nurtured (arms wrapped together)<br />that we need to hide something <br />that we are cold <br />that we are relaxed<br />Arms folded or crossed (one or both)<br />Legs crossed<br />Head is down and away<br />
  17. 17. Dominant Body Language<br />signals need to feel big and powerful<br />Making the whole body seem bigger by placing hands on hips to be wider, standing very erect to be taller, chin up and chest out to feel powerful, legs apart<br />shrug shoulders, smirk<br />break rules<br />invade<br />belittle<br />frown, sneer, snarl<br />phallic display<br />holding a gaze<br />monopolizing and manipulating conversation<br />often does not give eye contact (feels others don’t deserve it)<br />
  18. 18. Open Body Language<br />signals change in feeling or thinking; when we are ready to accept something, when we are being attacked, when we are supplicating and when we are resting. <br />seen in arms and legs relaxed, not crossed<br />hands are open (not hiding anything)<br />face is directed at the person of interest<br />eyes contact is good, moves away at times (so not perceived as a stare)<br />
  19. 19. Submissive Body Language<br />signals fear and readiness to submit<br />hunching inwards; making the body smaller, arms<br /> held in (I don’t want to be seen)<br />motionlessness (I won’t fight back)<br />head down to protect neck and to avoid eye contact which is seen as aggressive<br />hands out, palms up<br />widening the eyes (like a baby)<br />eyes are attentive, hanging on to every word<br />
  20. 20. Readiness Body Language<br />signals readiness to do something<br />some body part (head, hand, arm, foot, or eyes) will point in the direction of the activity<br />body is tensed, either holding arm rests of chair, or things in hand are gripped tightly<br />thumbs in pocket (“I’m ready to …”)<br />fingers hook clothing<br />continuing conversation<br />
  21. 21. Evaluative Body Language<br />signals thinking, judging, and making decisions<br />hands are closed and touching (praying position) or clasped with fingers down except for pointer fingers which are straight up<br />these pointer fingers might touch the nose, lips, or chin<br />pursed lips<br />peering over top of glasses<br />chin may rest on one or both palms or on closed hands<br />body may be open or closed (depending on level of relaxation, or type decision making)<br />
  22. 22. Now let’s discuss this information within the context of your students and your teaching.<br />