Friday, February 27, 2009

Does a Professor's Attire Have an Impact on Student Learning?

The University of Cincinnati's Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning has a blog titled, "ProfPost". This website featured a VERY interesting video on the impact of professor's clothing on student learning. (As I stated before, I ALWAYS wear a suit to class.) I wonder a professor's attire has an impact on student respect or learning.

Here's the video from the ProfPost website.


  1. It has an impact on students' perception of professor credibility. My dissertation research explored an element of this where female faculty members (not yet tenured) felt they were judged by clothing more than their male counterparts. This holds true in my office where I am only one of three females in our whole department of more than 20 people. The women wear suits, dress slacks, blouses, etc. but the men wear polos and khakis and for at least six of the men they wear jeans to class. Would this impact student learning? My research didn't measure that angle, but I would add another layer to it to comparatively explore dress for men and women...
    any thoughts?
    Thanks for a great post!

  2. The students' comments are good to hear. I am a 50-year-old female who teaches theatre at university and if I wore anything other than jeans and a casual top, I would be laughed out of class by the students. I must also have mobility in my clothing because I do the warm ups with acting students (jumping jacks, stretching, partner activities, etc.). I have tenure, but even before that I wore comfortable clothing I could move in and it was never an issue with the administration. Perhaps my position is unique, but one of my students once remarked that I "don't dress like the other women professors on campus" and that she appreciated that.


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