Theoretical Analysis: The Nature Of Teacher-Student Relations

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1. The Nature of Teacher-student Relationships
The emotional dimension of teaching is reflected in the definition of a relationship, defined as ‘a state of connectedness between people, especially an emotional connection’. Thus, a teacher-student relationship can be described as ‘the emotional bond student and teacher share with each other’ where the quality of the relationship is determined by how strong the bond is. Both student and teacher characteristics can shape and change the quality of relationships.

2. Defining a Good Teacher-student Relationship
Research on teacher-student relationships defines high-quality, or good, teacher-student relationships as having low levels of conflict and high levels of closeness.
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Additionally, puberty can be a difficult age with a tendency for lower self-esteem, and students being more exposed to risk-taking activities. Students report decline in teacher support during this time, with a parallel decline in learning achievement and social adjustment. It is often highlighted that older students are more concerned with having better relationships with peers than teachers. However, this does not mean that adolescents need good relations with teachers less. Roorda concludes that adolescents need good teacher-student relationships more than younger children, contradicting findings from some previous individual studies. In fact, relatedness to teachers seems to be more important for learning than both relationships to peers and…show more content…
Student Characteristics Influencing the Teacher Relationship
Koles, O’Connor, and Collins suggest that student characteristics appear to determine the quality of teacher-student relationships more than teacher characteristics. In terms of gender, research has identified that boys at all grade levels have poorer and more conflictual relationships with teachers than girls. That challenges with students such as disruptive behavior prevent close teacher-student relationships from developing might be the most obvious factor. Students with chronic behavior problems tend to be on a trajectory of continuous poor teacher-student relationships throughout school.
Problem behavior is not just externalizing behavior that is disruptive and harmful to others, but can also be withdrawn, internalizing behavior with symptoms such as anxiety and depression. Students with conflict relationships with teachers are more likely to have closeness in their relationships than students with internalizing behaviors. This might be because students who openly challenge teachers are at least seeking contact, while students with internalizing behaviors avoid teacher contact. Similarly, Newberry and Davis found that the close teacher-student relationships of three American primary school teachers depended to a large extent on students seeking contact; pressing the teacher to develop a more personal relationship. Unfortunately, withdrawn students seem to have the particular disadvantage of receiving less
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