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The effect of elementary teachers' nonverbal behaviors on the teacher -student relationship

Jacqueline Hansen, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The effect of third through fifth grade teachers' nonverbal behaviors on the teacher-student relationship was investigated. The research team videotaped classroom sessions of 30 upper elementary teachers and administered surveys to the teachers and 488 students. Teachers' emotional states were assessed by the Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance Scale (Mehrabian, 1995b). Although teachers accurately perceived their exhibited behaviors, students differed significantly in their perceptions of these behaviors. Significant correlations between teachers' nonverbal behaviors and emotional states and between teachers' emotional states and their teacher-student relationships were found. Third grade teachers' nonverbal behaviors significantly correlated with the students' and teachers' perceptions of the relationship. Students' perceptions of the teacher-student relationships differed significantly by gender and race. Thew findings are congruent with the theory of implicit communication (Mehrabian & Ksionzky, 1972). ^

Subject Area

Education, Elementary|Education, Teacher Training

Recommended Citation

Hansen, Jacqueline, "The effect of elementary teachers' nonverbal behaviors on the teacher -student relationship" (1999). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9951292.