Using Group Development to Mitigate Classroom Incivility

Credit: iStock.com/LeoPatrizi
Credit: iStock.com/LeoPatrizi
As educators, we’re charged with fostering a classroom environment that is conducive to learning; however, students’ maladaptive behaviors, known as classroom incivility, can impact learning. Student behaviors that impede learning range from not paying attention to threatening violence. Faculty can also contribute to toxic learning atmospheres through such behaviors as ignoring difficult classroom situations, showing favoritism, and making poor pedagogical choices. Thus, relational problems between educators and students often contribute to classroom incivilities. Group stage theory addresses relational issues by explaining how behaviors develop and change over time. Corey et al. (2018) proposed that groups go through forming, initial, transition, working, and final stages. Using these stages as a framework, we outline measures to prevent and mitigate maladaptive classroom behaviors.

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