iDevice icon Haptics - Thinking about Touch

Touch, a basic element of human communication that begins at birth, becomes a rather complicated topic when it comes to classroom interaction.

Haptics, excluding openly hostile behaviors such as slapping or spanking, can be categorized into five major types (Heslin, 1974):

  1. Functional/Professional
  2. Social/Polite
  3. Friendship/Warmth
  4. Love/Intimacy
  5. Sexual/Arousal

Since teachers are considered superiors in the classroom, they often initiate touching behaviors. Consider the following questions and then click on the button for some feedback.

Where are we permitted to touch others?

  • How does this change by relationship?
  • With what impact?
  • What is the meaning of the touch?

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