Coursera / Social Psychology: Week 3 – Obedience, Conformity, and Deindividuation

SocPSI-3Week 3 Reflection

It was very fortuitous for me that this week’s lectures and readings coincided with my first week back at school as a tutor/mentor.  It brought to mind my first year of teaching high-school science during which I was constantly reminding myself that I was the teacher, the person in authority, and need not fear facing my class.  Some days were definitely better than others!  A group of students can surely sense fear in a teacher just as a horse knows when a rider lacks confidence.

Well, after acting the role of “teacher in control” for a while, I found that I truly had become a teacher able to manage a classroom and began eagerly awaiting the start of class every day without undue trepidation.

Watching obedience and conformity on display in various ways in multiple classrooms is an endless fascination for me.  For some teachers, classroom management seems so effortless, while others struggle every day for even a modicum of control and discipline.  I have long suspected that great teachers are born, not made.  What do you think?