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IX. Teacher Affect

Teacher Affect can be described as a measure of the teacher’s enthusiasm for the content of learning as a source of student motivation. It includes maintaining a positive attitude in the classroom and in teacher/student relationships. More important still, it is the extent to which the teacher is committed to teaching subject matter content, a factor that determines whether or not students will become committed to learning a lesson or the subject matter. Unfortunately, a relatively large percentage of classroom teachers do not maintain a positive attitude, nor are they committed to the subject matter and this lack of commitment is reflected in approach and their handling of the content in the classroom. Teacher Affect tends to be related to emotional factors such as: attitude, outlook, confidence, energy, stamina, and enthusiasm.

In addition, Teacher Affect is related to the teacher’s personality and ability to communicate with students in presenting content in such a manner that it arouses the interest and the curiosity of students. It could be argued that the schools of education should screen potential teacher candidates according to whether or not they could be classified as introverted or extroverted. It also could be argued that priority should be given to those individuals who expressed enthusiastic or outgoing traits over those who showed traits of inwardness and self-consciousness. The problem with this approach is that being extroverted or introverted does not guarantee teaching success because classroom behavior differs greatly between all individuals and those most successful teachers cannot be identified in such a simple manner.

Besides maintaining a positive attitude in the classroom, creativity in the presentation of subject matter content is an important factor related to Teacher Affect. Creativity of presentation is the ability to confer content in a dynamic and effective fashion that is appropriate to the student audience according to the following principles:

1. Positive attitude in reference to subject matter content and the ability of students to learn and master new topics.
2. Dynamic presentation suggests that an exciting presentation will be developed that is in accordance with the content to be taught.
3. Readiness relates to student preparation through various types of background presentations in support of new instruction.
4. Effective means that the students learned what the teacher intended them to learn.
5. Retention relates to reinforcing the important elements of content instruction over time.
6. Application is the use of the current content in related exercises or activities.
7. Extension is the application of current content as the basis for advanced study of the same or related content.
8. Innovation is the application of current content to new situations and in unexpected ways.

Teacher Affect, as described above, is an influence that most classroom teachers can develop in connection with the presentation of content materials in order to become more effective instructors.

1. Teacher Affect is a critical factor in student interest and enthusiasm for the content of instruction.
2. While the teacher’s personality is an important factor in effective instruction, certain planning and executing approaches can become controlling aspects of Teacher Affect.
3. Maintaining a positive attitude toward the subject matter and the students’ ability to learn new content is an essential.
4. Creativity in the presentation of subject matter content should serve as an important focus for improving instruction in the classroom.
5. Of the seven principles listed above, a dynamic presentation is at least partially determined by the nature of the content to be taught or interpreted for instruction (i.e. the structure of government versus the history of an event).
6. While student readiness is important to successful instruction, effectiveness is of equal importance since it is directly related to measuring instructional outcomes.
7. Application, extension, and innovation are only possible once a basic mastery of subject matter content has been achieved.
8. Teacher Affect is a powerful aspect of instruction that can be improved over time as the instructor recognizes the many alternative approaches that could be used to present new content to a student audience.

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