Grammatikopoulos, V.Gregoriadis, A.Natsi, V.Klapsinou, K.Assessing Student-Teacher relationships:Implementing the “Dutch” version of STRSin a Greek sample
STRS (Student-Teacher Relationship Scale)A widely accepted instrument developed byR. Pianta (1991-2001).Measures the quality of teacher-childrelationships, based on teachers’perspectives.Introduction
STRS (Student-Teacher Relationship Scale)STRS consists of 28 items (Pianta, 2001)Measures three dimensions of the teacher-child relationship:-Closeness-Conflict-DependencyIntroduction
STRS (Student-Teacher Relationship Scale)STRS has been used extensively in variouscountries (US, UK, Germany, Netherlands,Spain, Norway, Italy, etc.)The three dimensions closeness, conflict anddependency, have been establishedsuccessfully in different samples in variouscountries.Introduction
STRS (Student-Teacher Relationship Scale)The STRS (28 items) was tested in Greece andthe results supported the factorial validity ofthe scale.Introduction
However, findings from two separate Greekstudies showed that the Dependency factorwas positively correlated with the Closenessfactor instead of the Conflict factor.This finding was in contrast with all the otherstudies at that time.Introduction
After the two Greek studies, additional findingsfrom the US and Norway confirmed theinconsistencies regarding the Dependencysubscale.On 2012 R. Pianta together with colleagues fromthe Netherlands (Koomen, Verschueren, vanShooten, Jak, Pianta, 2012) developed a “Dutch”version of the scale that consisted of 34 itemsand incorporated new items in the dependencyfactor.Introduction
IntroductionA widely used and valid scale across different culturesand educational systems provides the opportunity forcross-national comparisons.This is something very important especially in Europe,where one of the goals of the European Union regardingeducation focuses in the homogenization of educationacross nations.
Aim of the studyExamine the factor structure of the “Dutch”version of STRS in the Greek educationalcontext .That is to examine whether the proposedstructure can be replicated in the ECE inGreece.
MethodParticipants275 teachers who rated their relationships with 1126 students .InstrumentThe ‘Dutch’ version of STRS (Koomen et al., 2012) was used. Thescale consisted of 34 items that measure three dimensions ofrelationships: closeness, dependency, and conflict.AnalysisExploratory factor analysis was selected for this initial effort totest the psychometric properties of the STRS. Exploratoryanalysis was preferred because the Dutch version included itemsthat had not been tested before.
ResultsThe descriptive statistics regarding the factors of thescale revealed that the teachers rated high theCloseness factor (M = 3.46, SD ± .77), low the Conflictfactor (M = 1.67, SD ± .94), and moderate to high theDependency factor (M = 2.12, SD ± .96).
Factor structure was replicated in the Greek sampleDiscussionA 25-item STRS is a valid and reliable scale thatmeasures the three factors/dimensions of thestudent-teacher relationship in Greece.Limitation: this was an initial effort. Further studieswith advanced statistical methods need to beapplied before any solid conclusion can be drawn.
DiscussionBased on the factor mean scores, it can be argued that theGreek teachers have a warm and supportive relationship withtheir students, which is characterized by low levels of Conflict.Yet, the Dependency factor has moderate to high scoresindicating that in Greece, Dependency is not considered abehavior that affects negatively the student-teacherrelationships in early childhood education.
DiscussionA possible explanation is that the notion ofautonomy and self-regulation is not consideredequally important in the Greek educationalsystem as in other societies.
In sumDiscussionThis study showed the applicability of the STRS in theGreek educational contextIt encourages researchers to further test thepsychometric properties of the scale and also to testit in primary schools.The cross-cultural validity could provide a commonground for an improved understanding of the culturaldifferences in the teacher-child relationships acrossvarious countries.