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Understanding and Handling Classroom Incivility http://tap.msu.edu/nvgt/rescs/thoughts.htm. Kevin M. Johnston MSU TA Programs kmj@msu.edu. “I think a little conflict is a good thing, particularly when everyone agrees with me.” - George M. Johnston. Workshop Format.

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understanding and handling classroom incivility http tap msu edu nvgt rescs thoughts htm

Understanding and Handling Classroom Incivilityhttp://tap.msu.edu/nvgt/rescs/thoughts.htm

Kevin M. Johnston

MSU TA Programs

kmj@msu.edu

slide2
“I think a little conflict is a good thing, particularly when everyone agrees with me.”- George M. Johnston

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

workshop format
Workshop Format
  • HISTORY - Considering Incivility – What is it?
  • Organization and Facilitation Strategies
  • Case Vignettes
  • Recommendations for knowing WHEN and HOW to handle incivility when you encounter it.
  • Large Case Study

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

what is incivility
What is Incivility?
  • Civility “norms” change. (What is it to YOU?)
  • Incivility rooted in ideas of community, survival, and progress

“…behaviors that elevate human interaction and discourse.” (Pavela, 2006)

  • IU-Bloomington Survey (30 Categories of Incivility)

arriving late; cutting class, being unprepared

male/female students equally perpetrate

young female faculty report experiencing it the most

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

what causes incivility
What Causes Incivility?
  • Student (Parent) sense of entitlement?
  • Learning Enhancement Forum (LES) results 28 Causes of Incivility Developmental/Societal/Institutional/Faculty
  • “…Irritable Faculty Behaviors” – MSU Teaching Thoughts #10http://tap.msu.edu/PDF/teachingThoughts2008.pdf

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

conflict can be avoided with good organization classroom facilitation
Conflict Can Be Avoided With Good Organization/Classroom Facilitation
  • Set A Supportive Tone Early
  • Share decision-making processes with students
  • Use syllabi as a means for setting classroom behavioral standards
  • Facilitate open communication

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

slide7

Pilar has a strict policy for turning in assignments. Students must turn in their papers to her when they first arrive in class. Midway through the semester, Ben and Will arrive in class fifteen minutes late and attempt to turn in their papers. Pilar does not accept them. They respond loudly, “*!%!+$, “%^&*(@!”!!!” and sit down, continuing to grumble. Pilar continues to lecture…

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

handling conflict when it occurs
Handling Conflict When It Occurs
  • Why Does Conflict Occur?
  • When is the Best Time To Deal With It?

(Do You Always Have a Choice?)

  • Are There Ways to Prevent Most Kinds of Conflict?

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

what situations result in conflict can you always predict when it s going to happen
What Situations Result in Conflict?(Can You Always Predict When It’s Going To Happen?)
  • Mistrust
  • Unfair Treatment
  • Condescension
  • Confusion
  • “Power” Inequity

Does It Matter Who’s At Fault?

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

slide10

“Syllabi are “Contracts!” Siobhan declares, and teachers and students should stick to the “program” laid out by the TA. “I include all assignments, materials, and testing schedules in my syllabus. I don’t think it’s my responsibility to have to include anything else. The students should be able to figure it out. What I say goes! It’s their fault if they don’t read it closely enough.”

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

the decision to confront when
The Decision To Confront (When)
  • Is There A Significant Problem Right Now?
  • Is the Issue Important to You Personally? To The Other Person?
  • What Needs (Issues) Are Threatened By The Problem?
  • How Will The Other Person Respond to Your Efforts To Solve It?

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

when do we risk confrontation cont
When Do We Risk Confrontation? (cont.)
  • How Significant is the Issue?
  • Do You Want to Preserve or Strengthen the Relationship with The Other Person?
  • Is there Time?
  • Can You Avoid becoming Personally Aggressive?
  • Are Either Party Ready to LISTEN?

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

slide13

Timing is Crucial. When at all possible, avoid conflict until you and the other person are ready to deal with it properly.

Conflict Management Flowchart. Donohue, 1992

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

slide14

Lisa is handing back her students' midterms at the beginning of class. The exam is worth 45% of their grade, and the class averaged 65, a grade in which Lisa and a lot of her students are disappointed. An irate student, standing up near the center of the class, begins shouting angrily at Lisa about her grade as she gets to passing out the last papers in her stack.

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

handling a confrontation
Handling a Confrontation
  • Is The Potential for Crisis under Control?

- Can you avoid threats/personal challenges?

  • Can you REDIRECT to Relieve Pressure?

- Involve other students in the conversation

- Make it a “thing” for the whole class to handle

  • Can You Relieve The Crisis?

- Avoid Getting Defensive

- Avoid the Conflict Spreading

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

averting crisis
Averting Crisis
  • Repeat Comments Objectively (If Possible)
  • Request The Other’s Solution/Others’ solutions
  • Review Options

Once the conflict has become destructive, the situation is probably out of control and continued confrontation will likely result in more harm than good.

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

handling conflict cont
Handling Conflict (cont.)
  • Can You “Reschedule?”
  • Begin by Setting the Stage for Productive Problem Solving?
  • Can You Separate Emotional and Relational Issues from The Data, Interest, and Value Issues?
  • Can You Create Multiple Options?

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

how patient are you how patient should you be expected to be
How Patient Are You? How Patient Should You Be Expected To Be?
  • What Personal Influences Affect Your Ability To Handle Conflict?
  • Can You Set Negotiating “Ground Rules?”

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

case study discussion
CASE STUDY DISCUSSION

Please work with the case study assigned to your group (Although, I will give you all three)

  • List your biggest concerns with the situation
  • List your solutions to the problem
  • Be ready to discuss your choices with the rest of the workshop participants

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

is power balanced between the parties
Is Power Balanced Between The Parties?
  • Does Each Party Have Equal Ability And Willingness to Impact Each Other’s Decisions?
  • Are Their Communication/Negotiating Skills Equal?
  • How “Safe” Is The Negotiating Environment?

Always Work To Restore Power Imbalances

– Donohue & Kolt

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

slide21

Kai gets back his essay. In large red letters across the top of the page, Distinguished Professor Mark D. Sade, has written “See Me After Class Immediately! In My Office!”

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

deal with the issues not the person
Deal With The Issues, Not The Person
  • Select a Third Party if Necessary
  • Create a Space in Which Conflict Can Be Resolved

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

handle conflict only when ready
Handle Conflict ONLY When Ready
  • Conflict can be terrifying, but it can also provide very effective contexts for learning
  • Document, as much as you can, potentially troublesome or threatening language, actions by your students.

What If You Are (or, Feel) Physically Threatened?

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility

slide24

Department of Public Safety 355-2222 (or, 911)

http://www.police.msu.edu/resources/eminfo.pdf

Ombudsman’s Office 353-8830

Departmental/College Dean’s Office ____________

Counseling Center 355-8270

Women’s Resource Center 353-1653

Judicial Affairs 432-2471

Resource Center for Persons w/Disabilities 353-9642

MSU Workshop Series – Fall 2009 Handling Classroom Incivility