College hats or lecture trousers? Stage fright and performance anxiety in university lecturers

Scott, Susie (2007) College hats or lecture trousers? Stage fright and performance anxiety in university lecturers. Ethnography and Education, 2 (2). pp. 191-207. ISSN 1745-7831

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Abstract

This article examines the experience of 'stage fright' in teachers in higher education, drawing on the dramaturgical perspective from sociology. Interviews were conducted with 10 'novice' and 'expert' lecturers, alongside focus groups with undergraduate students, to compare their perceptions and expectations. The students defined a good lecturer as one who communicated well and was friendly and approachable; this was not related to nervousness. The two groups of lecturers reported different strategies for coping with stage fright, which can be broadly categorised in Goffman's terms as 'cynical' (written scripts, backstage rehearsals, and dressing up) or 'sincere' (acknowledging nervousness, viewing students as team-mates, and reneging perfectionism). There was a general shift from cynical to sincere performances as teachers gained experience, suggesting that while feelings of stage fright may attenuate over time, we can also devise more effective ways of managing them.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: Susie Scott
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:27
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2012 11:11
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/31325
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