An openness to students in the classroom, including for example eye contact, smiling and nodding when students speak, is critical to their participation and learning. Negativity or challenging behavior, according to studies, is perceived more intensely by students than by professors who use these tools (Kelly Rocca, 2010, Communication Education).
A sense of equality between student and professor in Global Citizen Education is critical to participation and learning, especially across North-South and South-South divides. This equality can flow from two points of view readily adoptable by the professor. First, the sum total of experience in the classroom, not just the academic studies of the professor, are the sources of theories, empirical data, norms, and prescriptions being discussed. This puts the student at the forefront not only as a learner in the classroom, but as a ‘professor,’ or one who professes.
By seeing the student as also a professor, the professor can see him or herself as also a student. This naturalizes the professor’s eye contact, smiling, questions, and nodding that is necessary for optimal student participation and learning.