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Teacher’s Student’s Relationship’s Effect on Student Learning

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There is a lot of covenant of literature that gives the considerable and authentic evidence that strong and well build relationship between teachers and students are the most important essential and necessary mechanism to the healthy and vigorous academic development of all students in schools.

The body of that literature includes the roots and genres of the previous researches that have been conducted in past three decades on investigating or finding the interactions have on learning. The genres of this topic can be find in many research articles of the competent researchers like as Brophy-Herb, Lee, Nievar, & Stollak, 2007; Curby, 13 LoCasale-Crouch, Konold, Pianta, Howes, Burchinal, …Oscar 2009; Dickinson & Brady, 2006; Guo, Piasta, Justice, & Kaderavek, 2010; Howes, Burchinal, Pianta, Bryant, Early, Clifford, & Oscar, 2008; Jackson, Larzelere, St. Clair, Corr, Fichter, & Egertson , 2006; Mashburn, Pianta, Hamre, Downer, Barbarin, Bryant, … Howes, 2008; McCartney, Dearing, Taylor, & Bub, 2007; Pianta, Barnett, Burchinal, & Thornburg, 2009.

The Educators, psychologists, social constructivists, and sociologists all have worked and contributed to the growing interest in targeting interventions toward improvements in the quality of teachers’ interactions with children. Hamre, Pianta, Burchinal, Field, Crouch, Downer, Howes, LaParo, & Little, (2012) posit that “teachers need to be actively engaged in interactions with children in order for learning to occur.

President Bush signed the law of “no child left behind act” in 2001 that stresses not only the student’s success and the reasons of student failure but also focus on the teacher’s effective performance of teachers as well. It was declared that every student would have to produce best academic results and would have to perform at grade level and achieve high standards. (U.S. Department of Education, 2007).

In this act the stress was on accountability and standardized testing should not have to confound the involvement of the social quality of teacher and students relationships with each other and the effect of this relationship on students academic performance or achievement(Hamre & Pianta, 2006) .Hamre & Pianta have also conducted a research in 2012 and the results of their research study indicate that strong student- teacher relationships “provide a unique entry point for educators working to improve the social and learning environments of schools and classrooms. It was also indicating that “it was not sufficient for teachers to be able to gain knowledge about effective teacher-child interactions; they needed actual skills involving identification of effective interactions with a high degree of specificity in order to be most likely to transfer the coursework into changes in their practice (Hamre & Pianta, 2012)

Downey in 2008 has also conducted a research and he synthesizing educational research on factors that affect academic success. The rationale of his research study was to examine classroom practices that made a difference for all students, but in particular, for students who are at risk for academic failure. What was determined was that a teacher’s personal interaction with his/her students made a significant difference. The recommendations from Downey’s analysis were that “students need teachers to build strong interpersonal relationships with them, focusing on strengths of the students while maintaining high and realistic expectations for success”. These interactive relationships should be based on respect, trust, caring, and cohesiveness. Downey concludes his research study by saying “the study served as a powerful reminder that everyday teacher-student interactions in the classroom matter a lot on studentent academic performance and achievement” (Downey, 2008).

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Ravitch (2010) writes that “the goal of education is not to produce higher test scores, but to educate children to become responsible people with well-developed minds and good character” She says that “accountability as it is now is not helping our schools because its measures are too narrow and imprecise, and its consequences too severe. NCLB assumes that accountability based exclusively on test scores will reform American education. This is a mistake”. Overemphasis on test scores to the omission of other important goals of education may actually weaken the love of learning and the desire to acquire knowledge (Ravitch, 2010).

Marzano (2003) in his study suggests a useful question for anyone wishing to understand factors that improve student achievement is to ask “What influence does an individual teacher have on a student apart from what the school does?” . He indicates that all researchers agree that the impact of decisions made by an individual teacher is far greater than the impact of decisions made at the school level. Marzano writes “the core of effective teacher-student relationships is a healthy balance between dominance and cooperation”. Showing interest in students as individuals has a positive impact on their learning according to Marzano. McCombs & Whisler (1997) posit that the need for the teacher to show a personal interest in their students is vital to their learning. All agree that the interaction between teacher and student has a significant impact on student learning in the classroom (Marzano, 2003).

Sarason (1999) looks at teaching as a performing art, and discusses the “art of teaching” and the role that teacher interaction plays in creating a “productive learning” environment. He posits that, post – World War II, when training teachers, education has increasingly focused on subject matter to the detriment of pedagogy – “the obligation of the teacher to know who the learner is and make the subject matter interesting, motivating, and compelling for their students”. He asks “are there not characteristics of a good teacher which can be observed in which the teacher interacts with children?”. Such a candidate would be someone capable of understanding, motivating, and guiding the intellectual, as well as the social-personal development of children. Sarason contends “If you do not know the minds and hearts of learners, you subvert productive learning” that is the starting point of all learning. Sarason contends that there are three overarching features for productive learning; the first is recognizing and respecting the individuality of the learner. The second is for the teacher to know 27 the subject matter sufficiently to be able to determine when the learner may have difficulty and be able to intercede to prevent the difficulty from happening. The third tenet is that the teacher is constantly looking for ways to engage and stimulate the learner so he/she wants to learn. By building relationships with students, teachers can fulfill what Sarason contends is the overarching purpose of schooling – motivate learners to experience personal and cognitive growth. It is Sarason’s position that not having a system in place that assesses how teachers interact with children is a major problem in the field of education, one that will continue to short change future generations of students and teachers . Teachers need to establish a relationship with their students which engender trust, respect, and an understanding of them as learners. He considers it an essential component to teaching and learning. . Brekelmans & Wubbels, (2005) also conducted a study that showed that students’ perceptions of teacher influence were related to cognitive outcomes. The higher a teacher was perceived on the influence dimension, (an interpersonal perception profile), the higher the outcomes of students on a physics test. In their study, teacher influence was the most important variable at the class level. They report that the more teachers were perceived by their students as cooperative, the higher the students’ scores were on cognitive tests.

In 1840, Mann said “the suitability to teach involves the power of perceiving how far a scholar understands the subject matter to be learned and what, in the natural order is the next step to take” . According to him, the teacher must be intuitive and lead the minds of his pupils to discover what they need to know and then supply them with what they require (Mann 1840). Dewey (1938) said that as an educator, you need to be able to discern what attitudes are conducive to continued growth and what are detrimental, and use that relational knowledge to build worthwhile educational experiences for students. He writes that “teachers are the agents through which knowledge and skills are communicated and rules of conduct enforced” and, as such, it is the duty of the teacher to know how to “utilize the surroundings, physical and social, so as to extract from them all that they have to contribute” to building up worthwhile educational experiences. He says that “all human experience is ultimately social: that it involves contact and communication” . Dewey believed the goal of educators is to create lifelong learners. This is accomplished through the knowledge the educator 20 has of individuals that leads to social organizations providing all students with the opportunity to contribute to something. Dewey says: “The principle that development of experience comes about through interaction means that education is essentially a social process”(Dewey,1938).

Vygotsky (1978) believed that higher mental functioning’s are socially formed and culturally transmitted. Cognitive development is mediated through language dialogues between one who knows (teacher) and one who is learning (student). Vygotsky posits that the instructional message gradually moves from teacher-student dialogue to inner speech where it organizes the student’s thought and becomes an internal mental function. A skillful teacher could shape a student’s thinking process through purposeful interaction – Vygotsky’s concept of mediated development. According to Vygotsky, “learning awakens a variety of internal development processes that are able to operate only when a child is interacting with people in his environment and in cooperation with his peers”. Vygotsky viewed tests as an inadequate measurement of a child’s learning capability; he thought the progress in concept formation achieved by a child through interaction with an adult was a much more viable way to determine 21 the capabilities of learners. His theory of the zone of proximal development required this type of interaction between child and adult in order for the child to come to terms with and understand the logic of adult reasoning in order to learn new concepts. Vygotsky describes the zone of proximal development as “the distance between the actual developmental level and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance”.

In his seminal study, Jackson (1968) studied life in classrooms and determined that “there is a social intimacy in schools that is unmatched elsewhere in our society”. According to Jackson, the teacher is charged with managing the flow of the classroom dialogue. In elementary classrooms, he writes, “teachers can engage in as many as one thousand interpersonal exchanges a day”. That being the case, the study of those interpersonal exchanges could yield important information regarding the learning that results from those interactions.

There are a diverse range of perspectives in the area of interactions between teachers and students that have been researched over the past few decades; however, they share several core 22 principles. What follows in this literature review is a sampling of those perspectives as they relate to the effect teacher-student interactions has on the learning environment including findings and implications, organized by categories of researchers.

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Teacher’s Student’s Relationship’s Effect on Student Learning. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from
“Teacher’s Student’s Relationship’s Effect on Student Learning.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022,
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