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Learner's perceptions of care and respect offered by instructors

Thomas F. Hawk (Department of Management at Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Maryland, USA)
Paul Lyons (Department of Management at Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Maryland, USA)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 13 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illuminate the content and magnitude of care and respect issues in instructional settings, and offer some recommendations on how trainers and instructors may behave in ways to reveal to learners that caring attitudes and behavior are present in the learning environment.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken in this work is to provide an overview of issues and concerns regarding pedagogical care and respect; present the results of some recent research; and to offer some approaches, tools, and concepts for practitioners to consider using in their training situations.

Findings

There are many different types of instructor behavior, or lack of behavior, that learners attribute to an uncaring attitude on the part of the instructor. Learner responses to the perceived lack of care are varied and usually negative. The perceptions influence performance of learners in ways that many instructors are likely not aware. Analysis of the available research provides suggestions for instructors.

Research limitations/implications

There was not much background literature or research to draw on. In future research, it would be desirable to actually correlate learner perceptions of caring‐respect from instructors with learner performance.

Practical implications

This paper represents a “wake‐up call” of sorts for instructors, trainers, and faculty. There are things we do or fail to do that may be perceived negatively by learners and the perceptions could influence their willingness to be engaged in instruction, their motivational level, their desire to fully participate, and the like.

Originality/value

The paper adds some new information to the existing literature about instructor attitudes and behavior towards learners. It offers several methods and tools for instructors to use to help establish a respectful and caring learning environment.

Keywords

Citation

Hawk, T.F. and Lyons, P. (2008), "Learner's perceptions of care and respect offered by instructors", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 197-205. https://doi.org/10.1108/00197850810876244

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited