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Teachers' Evaluations, Effect of Humor Use in Classroom on

  • By: Melissa Bekelja Wanzer
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

When teachers enact a variety of verbal and nonverbal messages to elicit laughter and smiling from students, they employ a teaching strategy labeled instructional humor. Much of the research on this topic has explored how teachers' use of instructional humor affects students either positively or negatively. Extant scholarship indicates that teachers' use of instructional humor increases students' cognitive and affective learning, creates a comfortable learning environment, improves relationships between students and teachers by reducing tension and anxiety, and increases students' willingness to engage in outside-of-class communication. Poorly executed or inappropriate instructional humor can negatively impact student motivation and learning and erode student-teacher relationships. This entry looks at how the use of humor can affect students' evaluations of teachers and how the effect may vary depending ...

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