Monday, November 30, 2015

Reaction to a Podcast

I watched a podcast on EdTechTalk where two educators discuss the idea of charisma and how it relates to conveying information. They mention a book called, The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane who determined via her own research that charisma rests on three elements: presence, power, and warmth.  Their discussion is much too brief to get into the book's many details, however they focus on one interesting detail. That is that charisma is essentially how someone encourages others to perceive them. One of the educators say that he conducted an informal experiment where he would go to a public place, such as a coffee shop, and carry out a typical interaction with twist: he would imagine that the clerk is an angel with wings and thus his mannerisms would ever so slightly change and this would be picked up, mainly unconsciously, by the other person in the interaction. Another example is that former President Bill Clinton was often described as charismatic due to his willingness to listen to others, thus convincing them that he feels that they are important. This boosts someone's confidence and really gets them to participate in a conversation, and a President is someone who needs to know many things from his many aides and advisors, thus this behaviora trait served Clinton very well. A third example is that student behavior inside and outside of the classroom affects how students are perceived by their fellow students. And so, a student associated with gossiping is a lot less likely to be attentively listened to by his or her fellow students, if they find the gossip uninteresting or tiresome, perhaps after a while. The student will become associate with bland speaking and his or her charisma will fade.

Charisma in Action

These three short examples, I think, highlight a few important points of teaching. Namely that teacher's should choose their words carefully and respect what their students have to say. This is especially important with adult students who signed up for classes as these are the voluntary students and so can fairly easily sign up for another class with another tutor in contrast to typical primary education students who are simply expected to go to school. Nevertheless, in this latter scenario student morale can be greatly boosted by a charismatic teacher who directs a productive and fun classroom experience. Student apathy goes a long way, from poor student performance to negative school reputation and all the way to a less educated populace, thus I would say that charisma, as described by the two educators in the podcast, is a serious point of consideration for any educator regardless of the level he or she teaches.

The aforementioned podcast can be seen on EdTechTalk's site or on YouTube.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think that many teachers think about the effects of "charisma" on their teaching, but this video shows its importance.