Student Affairs

Strategies and Guidelines

“Civility in the College Classroom” by Jennifer L. Schroeder & Harvetta Robertson (Association for Psychological Science, APS Observer, November 2008).  Lays out the problem of classroom incivility and provides suggestions to promote civil behavior, such as “be proactive” by setting up expectations and “have a plan” for dealing with unexpected behaviors.

“Combating Classroom Misconduct (Incivility) with Bills of Rights,”  Linda B. Nilson and Nancy S. Jackson (Clemson University).   Reviews prevention strategies presented in the literature on incivility and proposes another: class and instructor develop a mutual bill of rights and responsibilities on the first day of class.

“Coping with ‘Oy Vey’ Students” by Mary McKinney (Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 19, 2005).  McKinney offers a list of whining “oy vey” student behaviors that will be recognizable to anyone who has taught college students.  These students see themselves as the center of the universe and can’t imagine that their professors don’t as well. She concludes that part of our mission as teachers is to “demonstrate maturity, respect and empathy” in the hope that students will internalize these behaviors themselves.

“Cropping Out Incivility”  by Maria Shine Stewart (Inside Higher Ed, July 29, 2011).  Discusses examples of hurtful behavior; concludes that the entire campus community must work together ”to consciously … build kinder campus communities.”

Dealing with Troublesome Behaviors in the Classroom,” by Mary Deane Sorcinelli (University of Massachusetts, Amherst).  Categorizes irritating and disruptive student behaviors, provides strategies for creating a classroom environment that can avert many problems, and suggests ways to deal with troublesome behaviors when they occur.

“Incivility”  by B.A. Berger (American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, Vol. 64, No. 4, 2000).  Gives examples of student incivility and possible causes. Then provides does and don’t for responding to specific types of incivility. The appendix contains excerpts from 2 syllabi that address expectations for student behavior plus a weekly class assessment form.  

The Civil Classroom in the Age of the Net,” by P.M. Forni (The NEA Higher Education Thought and Action Journal, Fall 2008, 15-22).  Discusses the decline in civil interaction on American college campuses  and provides ways in which a professor can foster an environment of engagement and relaxed formality.

The Rules About Classroom Rules

Responding to Disruptive or Threatening Student Behavior: A Guide for Faculty(Virginia Tech).   A brief manual for dealing with inappropriate, disruptive, or threatening behavior.

“Remedial Civility Training   “Remedial Civility Training” by Thomas H. Benton (The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 7, 2007).  Describes some of the more common incivilities of today’s students and their deficiencies in reading and writing.  Attributes this behavior to cultural issues and negative values of their previous twelve years of schooling.  Argues that faculty must provide remedial attention to these behaviors in order for students to succeed in college and in life.

The Learning Environment at ESF ( SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry).  Students are asked to sign this one-page document that offers “Guidelines for Positive Classroom Environment,” demonstrating their responsibility and respect.