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Social and Political Norms

Social and Political Norms

The Impact on Teaching Styles 

By Hannah Kissinger 

Society has changed in the styles it uses throughout daily life. Several aspects of history have contributed to that change. People tend to change the ideas surrounding society’s norms based on how they feel or want it to be. It is a natural way of how we tend to live as humankind. From these changes, social and political norms become connected and are impacted by the different spectrums of ideas.  

What exactly are these norms and how are they part of our society? Social norms are the “unwritten rules of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that are considered acceptable in a particular social group or culture.” [1] This is saying how we humans tend to “behave and function to provide order and predictability in society.” [2] Political norms are a little different as they are more so based upon political topics and/or views. 

Linda Ivy, psychology professor, gave her thoughts about her own teachings within the social and/or political norms of the society around Walla Walla University’s campus. “It’s a little bit of a challenge sometimes. I want to be aware and sensitive to those around me and what their preferred references are, whether it be ethnicity or preferred pronouns,” Professor Ivy explained. [3] She continued, “I’ll use general terms unless stated otherwise. And connecting this with my own teachings, I don’t believe it changes my style. It just changes the way I contact and what I say.” [4] 

Professor Ivy conducting a class, using her own methods of teaching. “My teaching style comes from my personality”. (2021). Photo by Hannah Kissinger.

Within some social and/or political norms, different and new aspects for students have risen here at WWU. These include the LGBTQ+ community, the range of ethnicities around the campus, the different personalities of people that are on campus, and so many more. It is both enlightening and good to have such a wide spectrum of ideas from all these factors. Teachers, especially, learn from the diversity of their students.  

Throughout these years, Ivy has seen how her teaching style has grown. “I’m more aware now with students and their learning differences. Examples of this are ADHD, visual learning, audio learning, and others. I now present my information among different formats, which is something I’ve improved on,” Professor Ivy stated. [5] 

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Ivy also discussed the context of her style’s development. “I’ve been teaching at WWU for about 16 years, so I feel that my style came from my personality. I’ve also had professors who I have enjoyed their ways of teachings, so I modeled mine after those that I had liked,” Professor Ivy stated. [6]  

Over the years, teaching has changed and grown to meet different standards and needs within social or political norms. It is an inspiration to know that even though people and society are changing, so are the other things in life to meet that special criterion.  


  1. Mcleod, S. (1970, January 1). Social roles. Social Roles and Social Norms | Simply Psychology  
  1. Ibid
  1. Interview with Linda Ivy, 10/3/2021. 
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Ibid. 
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