Shyness, Avoidant, Shame, and Pedagogy: Does One Size Fit All?
Kim Lamana Finn, Ph.D, DeVry University

My research centers on the effects of shyness, attachment style, and shame on students’ persistence and achievement in college. A student’s personal characteristics and academic ability play a role in a student’s commitment to a university. The higher the level of engagement and commitment, the more likely the student will succeed. Therefore, focusing on psychological characteristics promotes student engagement and commitment (Braxton et al. 2014). In addition, student perceptions of their teacher as effective, knowledgeable, and caring reflect an emphasis on teacher development and student success. Effective teachers have a positive influence on students’ perceptions of their own ability to be academically successful. This poster will focus on the questions that arise when teaching shy, avoidant, and shame prone students. How can we approach a shy, avoidant, or shame-prone college student to develop a trusting relationship that is conducive to learning? How do we identify a student who suffers from shame or shyness leading to disengagement? What are the overt behaviors of these types of students? How can we tell the difference between someone who is shy versus introverted? How could we approach an avoidant or shy student when he or she does not want to join a group? What are some teaching techniques to promote participation from these types of students? What class activities appeal to these types of students? The more we understand and respond to the effects of psychological constructs on our students’ behavior, the more likely they will persist and succeed in our classroom.

Braxton, J.M., Doyle, W. R., Hartley, H.V., Herschy, A.S., Jones, W.A., & McLendon, M. K. (2014). Rethinking College Student Retention. San Francisco, CA: Wiley & Sons.

New Pedagogical Approaches to Connecting Understanding to Belief
Richard Miller, Texas A&M University, Kingsville

Educational theory has neglected the distinction between understanding an idea and believing that idea. Learning has been conceptualized both theoretically and practically as knowledge change. However, thinking about learning as only change in knowledge ignores the difference between changes in understanding and changes in belief. Ignoring this distinction can lead to errors in how to plan instruction. This is especially true of controversial issues. For example, psychology students may develop a clear understanding of Skinner’s principles of positive reinforcement and still cling to a belief that “to spare the rod is to spoil the child.” The research outlined in my poster first found 10 controversial issues in psychology where there is a disconnect between understanding and belief. After creating the list of ten such topics, the second part of this research project compared the effectiveness of several pedagogical techniques in connecting students’ understanding of controversial findings to acceptance of those findings and the behavioral intentions to act upon that acceptance. This has involved a multi-campus research project that tested the effectiveness of various pedagogical techniques including counter-attitudinal advocacy, hypocrisy induction, and “think-like-a-professor” in bridging the gap between understanding and belief. I hope to recruit additional faculty members to participate in a new round of data collection this coming Fall semester by implementing additional techniques that may close the gap between understanding and belief.

Classroom Observation Rubric for Novice Instructors
Jessica C. Hill1, Clarissa A. Thompson2, and Melissa J. Beers3
1Utah Valley University, 2Kent State University, and 3Ohio State University

Graduate students have historically supported themselves in their studies by assisting with teaching responsibilities (Buskist, 2013). Participating in undergraduate instruction yields benefits to graduate students such as improved research abilities (Feldon et al., 2011), increased likelihood of employment upon graduation (Bettinger, Long, & Taylor, 2016), and socialization into all roles within the profession (Vernon, 2004). Unfortunately, few institutions prepare graduate instructors for teaching responsibilities in a systematic way (for a list of those who do, see Beers, Hill, & Thompson, 2012). Our team’s recent investigations into effective training for novice instructors indicates that graduates and their mentors broadly agree on what skills they need prior to teaching independently and how they should be imparted (Beers, Hill, Thompson, & Tran, 2014). What we call “critical survival skills” are a subset of those demonstrated by master teachers (Hill, Thompson, & Beers, 2015) and have no overlap with instructor misbehaviors (Busler, Kirk, Keeley, & Buskist, 2017). Because critical survival skills are being developed by novice instructors, they are unable to be statistically modeled like those of master teachers (Hofer, Farnsworth, Hill, & Warne, 2013; Keeley, Smith, & Buskist, 2006). Thus, current classroom observation protocols designed around experienced instructors or master teachers are inadequate to capture the performance and development of novice instructors. In our poster, we propose a classroom observation protocol specifically designed for novice instructors.

Controversial Concepts in the Classroom: Factors Affecting Self-Censorship for both Students and Faculty
Danny Carragher, The Dwight Englewood School

Anecdotal evidence collected from teachers in an independent secondary school in the Metro New York City area led to questions about what specifically leads students to censor themselves during discussions of sensitive topics in the classroom. Likewise, we wondered what role the teacher plays in preventing or promoting student self-censorship, and if, indeed, the teachers also struggled with both self-censorship and the use of personal narrative when dealing with potentially controversial topics. A survey was distributed to 508 students in grades 9-12, and 431 were returned. Questions were asked about whether or not the students felt comfortable engaging in classroom conversations about race, gender, sexuality, and politics. Additional questions were asked of those students who indicated any level of discomfort as to the influence that their peers, social media, and their teachers had on their decision to self-censor during class. A follow-up survey was then sent to 71 Upper School faculty members (with 68 returned) asking questions about how they specifically discuss the topic of politics inside and outside of the classroom, why they self-censor (if they do), and the role their students, their peers, and the administration had on their decision to self-censor during lectures. The data were examined for the students by grade, race, and gender, and generally for the faculty, and resulted in significant differences between certain demographics for the students and the effect of the perceived consequences/power of the audience for both students and faculty.