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NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION IN THE ELEMENTARY TEACHER CANDIDATE EMPLOYMENT INTERVIEW

By Kathleen Freeberg Eng

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between elementary teacher candidates' nonverbal communication, eye contact and smile, and their potential to be offered employment by elementary school principals. The focus of this study was the relationship between the principal's preference for the employment of a teacher candidate and the duration of eye contact, number of eye contacts, and number of smiles exhibited by the candidate throughout the interview. As subsets of number of smiles, three specific types of smiles: Duchenne, false, and listener response smiles were also investigated. Fifty female elementary teacher candidates between the ages of twenty-one and twenty-four that met established standards for employment consideration and ten male elementary school principals participated in actual employment interviews. Each of the principals interviewed five teacher candidates individually for approximately thirty minutes in a structured employment interview. Data collection consisted of interview observations, surveys, and post interview questionnaires completed by both principals and candidates. The principal's preference of a candidate for employment was reflected in the rank assigned to the candidate following the interview. Candidates were assigned a number from one to five with one indicating the highest preference. Multiple and stepwise regression analyses were used to determine the impact nonverbal cues had on a teacher candidate's rank. When the nonverbal behaviors, eye contact and smile, were analyzed collectively against the rank the candidate received, no significant relationship was found. When the nonverbal behaviors were evaluated separately, duration of eye contact was found to be significant and a predictor of a principal' s preference of a candidate for employment. Increased duration of eye contact lead to a higher rank. However, the number of times a teacher candidate established eye contact with the elementary school principal or smiled during the interview had no significance in relation to the candidate's rank. Neither the number of eye contacts alone nor the number of smiles alone could be used to predict the employment recommendation. Additionally, Duchenne, false, and listener response smiles, either separately or in combination, showed no significance with rank

Publisher: 'Wiley'
Year: 1994
DOI identifier: 10.13016/8fjo-bm1k
OAI identifier: oai:drum.lib.umd.edu:1903/24729
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