Presentation Title

Is My Instructor Misbehaving? College Student Perceptions of Instructor Attire, Tattoos, and Body Piercings

Advisor Information

Karen Dwyer

Location

UNO Criss Library, Room 112

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

6-3-2015 10:15 AM

End Date

6-3-2015 10:30 AM

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to further investigate the implications of fashion and physical attire in the college classroom setting. Previous research conducted more than ten years ago showed inconclusive results. This study examined instructor attire (clothing, tattoos, and body piercings) and student perceptions of instructor credibility and teacher misbehavior as related to the learning process. A total of 89 participants were asked to complete an online survey, and evaluate given instructor clothing scenarios based on a 5-point Likert Scale (5= Strongly Agree, and 1=Strongly Disagree). Results showed that student perceptions of credibility were higher when the instructor (male and female) was wearing a professional, casual professional, or casual attire. Some students considered specific instructor attire as disturbing, inappropriate, or unprofessional. When instructors failed to meet student expectations in terms of attire, they were often perceived as uncaring, uninterested in their job or in their students’ education (perceived caring was lower). Overall, students' judgments of their instructor were influenced far more by other factors than mere physical appearance –such as how teachers taught, behaved, and managed the classroom, rather than by what they were wearing. In light of these findings, instructors are encouraged to treat the classroom environment as professionally as any other working environment, in order to avoid potential distractions for students. Future research should continue to study the instructor attire in the live classroom context, especially in relation to tattoos and body piercings.

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Mar 6th, 10:15 AM Mar 6th, 10:30 AM

Is My Instructor Misbehaving? College Student Perceptions of Instructor Attire, Tattoos, and Body Piercings

UNO Criss Library, Room 112

The purpose of this study is to further investigate the implications of fashion and physical attire in the college classroom setting. Previous research conducted more than ten years ago showed inconclusive results. This study examined instructor attire (clothing, tattoos, and body piercings) and student perceptions of instructor credibility and teacher misbehavior as related to the learning process. A total of 89 participants were asked to complete an online survey, and evaluate given instructor clothing scenarios based on a 5-point Likert Scale (5= Strongly Agree, and 1=Strongly Disagree). Results showed that student perceptions of credibility were higher when the instructor (male and female) was wearing a professional, casual professional, or casual attire. Some students considered specific instructor attire as disturbing, inappropriate, or unprofessional. When instructors failed to meet student expectations in terms of attire, they were often perceived as uncaring, uninterested in their job or in their students’ education (perceived caring was lower). Overall, students' judgments of their instructor were influenced far more by other factors than mere physical appearance –such as how teachers taught, behaved, and managed the classroom, rather than by what they were wearing. In light of these findings, instructors are encouraged to treat the classroom environment as professionally as any other working environment, in order to avoid potential distractions for students. Future research should continue to study the instructor attire in the live classroom context, especially in relation to tattoos and body piercings.