ERG SES E 11, Students and Teachers in Education
Over 40 years, the researchers have been investigating the nature and quality of relationships between students and teachers, their impact and development. There is a growing consensus that teacher-student relationships (TSR) play a crucial role in motivating and engaging students to learn (Wentzel, 2009) in academic achievement domains as well as it is essential for students’ well-being (Battistich, Solomon, Brophy & Good, 1974, 1986; Hoagwood & Johnson, 2003; Pianta, 2011; Wubbels, den Brok, van Tartwijk & Levy, 2012). Despite these compelling results there is no systematic research focusing on TSR topic in the Czech Republic. One of the goals of my dissertation (I want to present one part of my dissertation at the ECER conference) is to draw attention to this very important topic and in this way I would like to attempt to start a discussion about foreign experience and possibilities of improving education through deliberate work on relationships in the classroom.
There is ongoing development of this educational topic at international level based on the above mentioned wide evidence. The development concerns both research and practice. At the research level it is to develop the theoretical foundations and to deepen empirical findings. At the practical level, there is a growing number of action researches and supporting programs for teachers to improve their ability to work deliberately on the relationships within their classrooms. This contribution belongs to the field of theoretical background as it represents an outcome of the reflection of the theoretical background, which have been used so far, and it attempts to surpass its drawbacks. Each of the approaches to measuring relationships differs in what can be considered as a quality relationship and what ways are used to gather information about this relationship.
Brophy (2004) summarized the body of research on qualities of teaching showing that children’s developmental outcomes are improved when they are exposed to teacher–child interactions that are characterized by warmth, emotional support, and sensitivity in combination with structure, modeling, and direct instruction. There is an agreement about this general consensus, although there are different opinion about a meaning of warmth.
I identify two key dimensions of TSR in my contribution: closeness and control. I will deal with operationalization of both, development of the questionnaire and the results of preliminary research.
Brophy, J. E., & Good, T. L. (1974). Teacher-student relationships: causes and consequences. New York: Holt. Brophy, J. E. (2004). Motivating students to learn (2nd ed). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Fiske, S. T., Cuddy A. J. C., & Glick P. (2006). Universal dimensions of social cognition: warmth and competence. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11(2), pp. 77-83. Lidé ve škole a jejich vztahy [People in School and their Relations]. (2009). Studia paedagogica, 14(1). Monothematic issue. Pianta, R. (2011). Classroom Management and Relationships Between Children and Teachers: Implications for Research and Practice. In C. Evertson, & C. Weinstein (Eds.), Handbook of classroom management: Research, practice, and contemporary issues, 2nd ed. (pp. 685-710). New York: Routledge. Pianta, R. C., Hamre, B., & Stuhlman, M. (2003). Relationships between teachers and children. In Reynolds, William M (Ed); Miller, Gloria E (Ed). (2003). Handbook of psychology: Educational psychology, Vol. 7. (pp. 199-234). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. von Bertallanfy, L. (1984). General System Theory. Foundations, Development, Applications (9th ed). New York: George Braziller. Wentzel, K. R. (2009). Students’ relationships with teachers as motivational contexts. In K. Wentzel & A. Wigfield (Eds.), Handbook of motivation at school (pp. 301-322). Mahwah, NJ: LEA. Wubbels, T., Brekelmans, M., den Brok, P., & Tartwijk, J. (2006). An interpersonal perspective on classroom management in secondary classrooms in the Netherlands. In C. Evertson, & C. Weinstein (Eds.), Handbook of classroom management: Research, practice, and contemporary issues (pp. 1161–1192). Mahawn: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Wubbels, T., den Brok, P., van Tartwijk, J., & Levy J (Eds.). (2012). Interpersonal Relationships in Education. An Overview of Contemporary Research. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
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