The connection between perceived constructivist learning environments and faculty uncivil authoritarian behaviors

Abstract

This study examined the impact of constructivist-based activities in the classroom on students’ perception of their teachers’ authoritarian-based behaviors measured by their uncivil behaviors. It was postulated that teachers who use nonconstructivist activities in their classrooms might also demonstrate uncivil authoritarian-based behaviors. Data were gathered from 150 undergraduate students by the Perceived Faculty Incivility Scale (PFIS), including passive and active faculty incivility constructs (PFI/AFI), and the Constructivist Learning in Higher Education Settings [CLHES] Questionnaire, including three constructs: constructive activity, teacher-student interaction, and cooperative dialogue. Data were analyzed by using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) advised to be applied if the primary objective of applying structural equation modeling is prediction of target constructs. According to the results, a significantly higher mean result of PFI compared with the mean result of the AFI variable was indicated. Based on the empirical model results, cooperative dialogue exerted a pronounced negative effect on PFI directly and indirectly through the constructive activity construct, whereas a slightly smaller impact of the teacher-student interaction on PFI, mediated by constructive activity, was shown. This study links learning processes, aimed at fostering a dialogic thinking, to increased levels of democratic and respectful environments, wherein conflicts may be resolved through dialogue and not by exerting power over students by creating uncivil environments.

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Alt, D., Itzkovich, Y. The connection between perceived constructivist learning environments and faculty uncivil authoritarian behaviors. High Educ 77, 437–454 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-018-0281-y

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Keywords

  • Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM)
  • Constructivist learning environments
  • Faculty incivility