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Developing good teacher-student relationships: A multiple-case study of six teachers’ relational strategies and perceptions of closeness to students

Fosen, DM; (2016) Developing good teacher-student relationships: A multiple-case study of six teachers’ relational strategies and perceptions of closeness to students. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Research demonstrating the importance of good teacher-student relationships as a contributor to high learning achievement is strong, but exactly what teachers can do to develop good relations with students is less well-documented. This study contributes to filling this research gap by exploring the relational strategies of six teachers through the application of a new reflective practice tool: the Inclusion of Other in the Self (IOS) map. The teachers used the tool to examine the quality of their relationships with one group of students in a series of three interviews over a six-month period. The findings are presented in six case studies and a cross-case analysis discussing the teachers’ relational strategies in view of existing research. The main strategy for developing good teacher-student relationships was getting to know students in terms of academic performance, interests, and their personal problems. Teachers gained this knowledge through engaging students in conversation, not only in the classroom, but also in the school hallways and outside of school. The results reveal that the teachers predominantly formed good relationships with students who initiated contact with them. Consequently, it is essential that teachers are aware of their responsibility for making contact with all their students to prevent relational inequity in the classroom. This study illustrates that engaging in a simple reflective exercise like the IOS map can help teachers identify those students with whom they need to interact more. The teachers in this study reported a 17 percent increase in close teacher-student relationships, which they partly attributed to the use of the IOS map making them more aware of their interactions with students. The case studies and the IOS map are tools that can be used in teacher education programmes to discuss relational strategies and behaviour management in schools.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Developing good teacher-student relationships: A multiple-case study of six teachers’ relational strategies and perceptions of closeness to students
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474062
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