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ERIC Number: EJ1092106
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1935-7869
Understanding Student and Faculty Incivility in Higher Education
Knepp, Kristen A. Frey
Journal of Effective Teaching, v12 n1 p33-46 2012
In recent years, faculty have seen an increase in latecomers, sleepers, cell phone addicts, and downright discourteous students in their courses. Classroom incivility is the disruptive behavior that occurs in higher education learning environments at an alarming rate. Incivility is often a reciprocal process; both students and faculty may contribute to a climate of disrespect for one another or the learning process. University students are increasingly diverse, unprepared for college-level work, juggling multiple life roles, and facing tremendous pressures to perform in large, impersonal classes. Faculty are often trained as researchers and struggle to effectively manage their classrooms. Millennial Generation students (and their parents) present a new set of challenges for faculty, including consumerist attitudes toward higher education and a failure to take responsibility for their own learning. Overall, uncivil behavior violates an unspoken or implied understanding of respect for the learning process and the academy. If not dealt with swiftly and effectively, it can have detrimental effects on teaching and learning. The purpose of this paper is to review academic literature about classroom disruptions, including the causes of incivility and strategies to manage negative student behaviors. In particular, young, female, low-status, and minority instructors face the greatest challenges. Recommendations for faculty include presenting engaging lectures at a moderate pace, respectfully interacting with students, gathering student input in the development of a classroom code of conduct, communicating clear expectations, and familiarizing oneself with classroom incivility research, as well as sharing this research with students.
Journal of Effective Teaching. Center for Teaching Excellence, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403. Tel: 910-962-3034; Fax: 910-962-3427; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A