ECT 300 EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY: What is Kinesics and what is its place in Educational Technology?

CHAPTER TWO

VERBAL AND NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

2a iii). Explain Kinesics and its place in Educational Technology.

2.6 Kinesics

This is a study that includes movements of the body, limbs, hands head, feet and legs. It encompasses facial expressions, eye behavior, posture, and walk. A branch of Kinesics is known as proxemics and refers to the use of space and distance. Proxemics refers to the way people use and perceive social and personal space around them and how they use the area (territory) around them. The space extends and contracts on the basis of one’s emotions and activities. On the basis of proxemics one is able to come up with specific distances that help to explain an individual’s territory. There are four main distances used during educational and social relationships. These are four main distances used during educational and social relationships. These are:

  • Intimate distances. These are cases where certain people prefer to stay at an arm’s length during an encounter. Examples are situations where some people prefer to sit near a window or at the back of the class.
  • Personal distance. This is exemplified by the office arrangement where the officer sits behind a desk and their juniors and clients sit on the other side.
  • Social distance. A good classroom example in the situation where the person in charge (i.e. the teacher in class) stands and the listeners are seated. Also in certain cultures the son in law cannot shake hands with his mother in law as a sign of respect.
  • Public distance. This is the distance kept by public figures to establish barriers between them and the audience. For example the distance between a leader and the Inspector of schools.

Note that depending on one’s culture, the space and the territory expands and contracts according to one’s emotional state and the activity being pursued.

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