ERIC Number: ED464728
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Mar-12
Understanding the Role and Potential Impact of Nonverbal Communication in the Primary Inclusion Classroom.
Rosa, Susan B.
This research study examined the nature of nonverbal teacher-student interaction in a second-grade inclusive classroom. The purpose of the study was to compare the nonverbal behaviors of children who are considered average in ability with those who are perceived as cognitively challenged, while they are engaged in general classroom instruction in both large and small group settings. The study also examined the nonverbal behaviors of one teacher as she interacted with a select group of students within the context of a naturalistic classroom environment. Data collection involved classroom observations--noting context, formal and informal discussions with the teacher regarding lesson instruction, student profiles, and overall study validity--and the videotaping of small and large group math lessons. Analyses indicated that the most common nonverbal behavior exhibited by both the special education students (SES) and general education students (GES) was "attending to procedure" under the category of Eye Focus. The SES varied more among themselves in the "verbal" eye contact category, and the "teacher" eye focus and "non-attending" subcategories that did the GES. "Verbal" eye contact and "attending to student" and "attending to procedure" in the Eye Focus category were the predominant nonverbal behaviors used by the classroom teacher. In most cases, the majority of nonverbal interaction occurred between students who sat in close proximity regardless of their cognitive ability. The small group setting lent itself to greater frequencies in each of the nonverbal categories for both GES and SES. The data from this study also indicated a relationship between teacher voice tone and effective classroom management. Teachers who consider possible nonverbal behaviors that engage all students may increase their understanding of student learning as they attempt to meet the diversity in today's inclusive classroom. (Contains 13 references.) (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association (Sarasota, FL, February 27 -March 2, 2002).