ERIC Number: ED416527
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Establishing the Environment: Setting a Supportive Climate.
Phillips, Kristina M.
Supportive classroom environments can enhance students' learning about their own diversity as well as that of others. Discussing basic diversity variables such as gender, age, and race can raise awareness and conscious decision making about how students use and view communication in their everyday lives. A graduate student instructor enhances her classroom climate by incorporating teaching literature, communication techniques learned through her training program, and classroom experiences when supportive behaviors have been adopted. A supportive climate is the result of supportive messages and comes from the instructor's conscious awareness of where his or her students are in terms of personal development and maturity. Supportiveness can be categorized into five major categories: informational, tangible aid, emotional, network, and esteem support. Using these supportive techniques are especially important when discussions about cultural diversity arise. Strategies to create safe environments where students can take risks and break the taboo of silence are: (1) create a community atmosphere; (2) demonstrate respect; (3) invite and encourage discussion; and (4) personalize the issues. Two cultural diversity activities are "Concentric Identity Circles" and "Who Will Survive?" (RS)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: N/A