Effective Non-Verbal Communication Can be Learned, and Ineffective Non-Verbal Communication Can be Unlearned. How?

Students are impressionable. And, teachers rely 100% on communication to teach their students. There is no doubt that teachers should be masters of the art of Communication - verbal as well as non-verbal.

Mehrabian (1968) found that only 7% of communication is verbal. Voice inflection accounts for 38% of the message, and facial expression, including "body language," communicates 55% of the message. When vocal information contradicts verbal--words only, the vocal wins out.

Garrison (1984) states that because 90% of the total impact of a message can come from nonverbal elements, sharpening NVC skills cannot help but make a teacher a better communicator.

Boilean (1981) found that beginning teachers forget or are not aware of the power of NVC. Before a teacher says the first word, a message environment is created in the classroom by the desk arrangements, time structures, procedures for talking, and relationships among people. Additional nonverbal messages are sent by the way the teacher walks to the front of the room, his or her clothes, focus of eye contact, and distance from students. Because the spoken word in the classroom utilizes the nonverbal environment for context and meaning, a successful educator includes nonverbal and verbal elements which contribute to the total, complex communication system in the classroom (Boilean, 1981).

Miller (1980) found that two-thirds of communication is nonverbal. If students have an outstanding teacher, going to class can be like going to the theatre. Enthusiasm is communicated nonverbally by facial expressions, body movements and excitement in the teacher's voice. Knowledge of nonverbal behaviours in the classroom is essential, and teachers should have a goal to improve their nonverbal actions (Miller, 1980).

EdXcellence Teacher Communication Development System help you learn Effective NVC and Unlearn Ineffective NVCs!

Yet the effective use of Non-Verbal Communication (NVC) in education is largely left up to chance! In our society, if a teacher does use Non-Verbal Communication effectively, it is probably because he or she imitated someone else and/or has learned Non-Verbal Communication by trial and error.