Influence in the classroom: Exploring instructor self-disclosive communication and student outcomes in higher education

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Gonzalo Soruco - Committee Chair


Teacher classroom communication affects learning and is purported to influence student attitudes. The supposition of influence on attitudes and beliefs has recently fueled controversy with regard to teachers' roles in the liberalizing influence of higher education. The empirical study of perceptions of teacher communication is foundational to building this understanding particularly with regard to the influence of teacher self-disclosure on both learning and influence. Teacher self-disclosure is an integral part of building interpersonal relationships and appearing immediate to students, both of which have been shown to improve student outcomes. Teacher training would greatly profit from research indicating how instructors could purposefully use self-disclosure to benefit students. To this end, a two-part study was undertaken surveying both students and teachers. The results of the study indicated that there are positive outcomes of teacher self-disclosure in building interpersonal classroom relationships which build immediacy and thereby improve learning. In addition, it appears as though students and teachers perceive teacher self-disclosure quite differently in its scope and purpose that may cause some miscommunication and negative judgments.


Speech Communication; Education, Teacher Training; Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text