Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More on Relationships

Educational Leadership
March 2011 | Volume 68 | Number 6
What Students Need to Learn    Pages 82-83
Relating to Students: It's What You Do That Counts
Robert J. Marzano

Positive relationships between teachers and students are among the most commonly cited variables associated with effective instruction. If the relationship is strong, instructional strategies seem to be more effective. Conversely, a weak or negative relationship will mute or even negate the benefits of even the most effective instructional strategies.

But exactly what constitutes good teacher-student relationships, and how do you develop them if they don't exist? Both research and theory provide some answers (Goodenow, 1993; Marzano, Pickering, & Hefelbower, 2010; Wentzel, 2009; Wubbels, Brekelmans, van Tartwijk, & Admiral, 1999).

Perhaps the most powerful message from the research is that relationships are a matter of student perception. They have little to do with how a teacher actually feels about students; it's what teachers do that dictates how students perceive those relationships.

This fact can be quite liberating. Teachers will certainly have an affinity for the majority of students in their classrooms, but from time to time they may react less positively to a given student. However, this won't really affect how the student perceives his or her relationship with the teacher. The major factor is how the teacher interacts with the student.

No comments: