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Nurturing Mutual Respect: Civility Intervention in the Classroom

The existence of civility in the classroom has been shown to improve dramatically the overall ambience among students, particularly the team atmosphere. This relationship is particularly important in higher education because students often report how much they loathe having to work collaboratively for a portion of their course grade. One aspect of this paper is to draw upon Social Exchange Theory to explain the relationship between civility and team atmosphere such that civil behaviors will produce reiterative reciprocation among students' interactions. We contribute to the current literature by advocating a civility intervention early in the semester during which students may tell personal stories about their experiences that will serve as an initiator of civil behavior within the classroom. During the debriefing, pamphlets and a rubric explicating the civility intervention framework are handed out to all participants.

Bahareh Javadizadeh
Indiana State University
United States

Hank Strevel
Purdue Fort Wayne University
United States


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