The purpose of this study was to explore the teaching behaviors of successful teachers in a college of agricultural and life sciences. Five successful teachers were identified by nomination from the director of the Teaching Resource Center or winning a teaching award such as the University of Florida’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences teaching award or the NACTA Teacher Fellow’s award. In consultation with each teacher, a minimum of two class sessions were identified for video recording. Teaching behaviors were assessed to determine the learning activities used, the cognitive levels reached, and the teacher immediacy (or rapport) behaviors exhibited. This group of successful teachers shared teaching beliefs that indicated they were highly sensitive to student needs. They used lecture and questioning most frequently in their classes and most of the teachers also used cooperative learning activities. This group of teachers commonly taught in a way that engaged students at higher cognitive levels. These successful teachers also created a psychologically inviting learning environment by exhibiting frequent positive verbal and nonverbal teacher immediacy behaviors.
teaching behaviors, successful teachers, Teaching Resource Center, teacher rapport, questioning, learning environment, positive communication