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Teacher Confirmation

Kathleen Ellis

Subject Communication and Development » Instructional Communication
Sociology » Social Psychology

Key-Topics emotion, teaching

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Teacher confirmation is the transactional process by which teachers communicate to students that they – the students – are valuable, significant individuals. Like other affective variables such as teacher immediacy and teacher caring, studies indicate that perceived teacher confirmation plays a very important role in students’ learning (→  Teacher Communication Concern ; Teacher Immediacy ). Philosopher Martin Buber (1957) was the first to write about confirmation in an interpersonal sense. He argued that confirmation may well be the most significant feature of human interaction, and that it is the interactional phenomenon by which we discover and establish our identity as humans. British psychiatrist Laing (1961) further developed the construct and emphasized that confirmation includes actions on the part of others that cause individuals to feel endorsed , recognized , and acknowledged as unique, valuable human beings. Disconfirmation, on the other hand, negates the other as a valid message source and communicates to the other that he or she is less than human, that he or she is merely a thing , an object in the environment, worthless and insignificant as a human being. Although empirical research about confirmation is limited, much progress has been made toward the clarification of confirmation theory and the identification and systemization of specific communication ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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