ERIC Number: ED479918
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
When Teachers Call on Students: Avoidance Behavior in the Classroom.
Larkin, Judith E.; Pines, Harvey A.
Most teachers believe that students' active involvement in the classroom promotes learning. To this end, they engage in a variety of behaviors designed to produce participation, one of the most common of which is "calling on students" in class. A recent survey revealed, however, that 56% of a college student sample either disliked or strongly disliked this teacher behavior, and only 12% liked it. The consistency and magnitude of these negative reactions to making public a student's performance led us to investigate whether the practice of calling on students in class might lead students to engage in behavior designed to avoid the apparently negative social consequences of this action. The present study was thus designed to assess the frequency of avoidance behaviors and compare male and female responses to being called on in class. Results reveal that the common practice of calling on students resulted in a clear and unmistakable pattern of avoidance behavior as reported by both male and female students. Women were more likely to engage in the behaviors than men--possibly because they are more attuned to the potentially negative social consequences of looking foolish in public. Yet, the gender difference was less striking than the fact that so many students appeared to be seeking ways to avoid a psychologically unpleasant situation. (Contains 13 references and 2 tables.) (GCP)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Avoidance Behavior
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Psychological Association (111th, Toronto, ON, Canada, August 7-10, 2003).