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Humor in business & math classrooms

1 December 1992


The following paper represents an attempt to critically examine teachers' use of humor in high school business and math classrooms. The research for the following paper is representative of the current research into the use of humor in the classroom. However, the observations obtained are in no way representative of general humor usage in high school classrooms, since they are limited to only a few select teachers in both business and math departments of one high school that served as an observation site. The method of research used for this study entailed in-class observation of teachers' use of humor and student reactions. While observing, emphasis was placed on looking both at the ways humor is used in the classroom and the purpose or reasons behind using it, as defined by the research of Cornett and Neuliep. Also, personalities and the relationship between rapport and humor were looked at. Finally, additional effort was also put forth to identify key words in the high school student lexicon that exist as "buzzwords" in humorous conversational styles. It is my hope, that the information contained within this paper, will help those who yearn to seek greater understanding of how humor might be used by teachers in a high school environment, regardless of the specific curricular area being taught.


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