Vets in the classroom| The relationship between teacher accommodative and non-accommodative behaviors on Military Veteran Students' perception of learning
Author(s)Murphy, Richard E.
Abstract<p> The U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics reported that about 660,000 Military Veteran Students (MVSs) were enrolled in undergraduate programs in 2009, making up about 3% of the student population. Despite the significant number of MVSs entering into college, instructional communication scholars have yet to study how military veterans experience classroom instruction. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of teacher accommodative and non-accommodative behaviors on MVSs' (<i> N</i> = 162) perceptions of learning. Grounded in the Communication Accommodation Theory, this study supports an instructional model that predicts learner empowerment and affective learning via accommodative behaviors, as operationalized as teacher immediacy and teacher clarity, and non-accommodative behaviors, as operationalized as teacher aggressiveness. After controlling for military identity and teacher congruency, only teacher clarity and teacher congruency contribute significantly to both learner empowerment and affective learning. MVSs seem to feel more empowered and have higher affect toward the class if the teacher is clear and genuine, regardless of perceptions of teacher immediacy and aggressiveness. This dissertation concludes with practical advice for instructors and advisors who work with MVSs, as well as limitations of the study and directions for future research.</p>