Reciprocal eye contact is a significant part of human interaction, but its role in classroom interaction has remained unexplored, mostly due to methodological issues. A novel approach in educational science, multiple-person mobile gaze-tracking, allows us to gather data on these momentary processes of nonverbal interaction. The current mixed-method case study investigates the role of teacher-student eye contact in interpersonal classroom interaction using this methodological approach from three mathematics lessons. We combined gaze-tracking data with classroom videos, which we analyzed with continuous coding of teachers’ interpersonal behavior. Our results show that teacher communion and agency affect the frequency and durations of teachers and students’ gazes at each other. Students tend to gaze their teachers more during high teacher communion and low agency, but qualitative and quantitative differences between the teachers and their classes emerged as well. To conclude, the formation of eye contacts is situational and affected by momentary interpersonal changes as well as the qualities of teacher-student interactions.
- 516 Kasvatustieteet