Caring for adolescent students: a grounded theory study of teachers' perspectives on their relationships with students in secondary schools.

Doctoral thesis OPEN
Cullingworth, Erin (2014)
  • Subject:
    acm: ComputingMilieux_COMPUTERSANDEDUCATION

This grounded theory study explored secondary teachers’ perspectives on their relationships with their adolescent students: the kinds of relationships they want to create, why they believe such relationships are important, and what obstacles they perceive to their construction. Teachers who felt they were able to create positive, effective relationships with their students tended to work in mini-school programs, to practice a kind of “authoritative” teaching similar to Baumrind’s (1978; 1991) definition of “authoritative” parenting, to engage in dialogue with them, and to treat curriculum and relationship as a dialectic, not a dichotomy. Teachers who felt frustrated in their ability to create positive relationships with their adolescent students tended to be isolated professionally, to practice a kind of authoritarian teaching, to take student behaviour personally, and to view curriculum and relationship as a dichotomy. Recommendations for high school design, as well as teacher recruitment, training and retention, are discussed.
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