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Instructor Compliance to Student Requests: An Examination of Student-to-Student Connectedness as Power in the Classroom

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Using facework as a theoretical lens, we examined power in the classroom from the standpoint that students, as a connected group, may have upward influence in the college classroom. Participants included both students (N = 375) and faculty (N = 104) who reported on perceptions of classroom connectedness and instructor compliance to student requests. Both students and instructors reported a positive link between perceptions of student-to-student connectedness and instructor compliance. In addition, instructors were more likely to comply when they reported liking their students. Finally, students perceived greater connectedness and compliance in smaller classes than in larger classes. However, instructors did not share this perception. Overall, this study revealed that a connected classroom climate may serve as a relational resource for students that can impact an instructor's decisions in the college classroom.
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Keywords: Facework; Instructor and Student Power; Teacher Compliance; Teacher Liking; Teacher Power

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-07-01

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