MM 4.1 Impact is More Important Than Intent v2

Topic Progress:

As educators, we must recognize that our intentions may be good, but our words, actions, or environment may inadvertently send the wrong message. Student perceptions, whether accurate or not, create beliefs that impact learning behavior and self-efficacy.

Figure 4: Impact and Intent

Teachers send micromessages whether they intend to or not. During their engagement with students in the STEM classroom, these micromessages can impact student performance. Small and seemingly insignificant behaviors may result in unfavorable learning outcomes. Impact is more important than intent!

Here’s an example: When a teacher says “Please sit down James” the intent may be to get James and other students seated to start the class, but the impact may be that James feels singled out and “picked on”.