NTLTC 2011 - Supporting relationships between teachers and students in tertiary


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NTLTC 2011 - Supporting relationships between teachers and students in tertiary

  1. 1. Supporting relationships between teachers and students in tertiary education Clare Mariskind Massey University
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Research in HE literature has recognized the importance of relationships with and among students as a factor in student engagement and success </li></ul><ul><li>My PhD research looked at university teachers’ understanding and experiences of student diversity </li></ul><ul><li>One part of the findings looks at teachers developing and maintaining relationships with, and among, students </li></ul>
  3. 3. Relational approach to education <ul><li>Teaching and learning as educational relations (Biesta, 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Relational strategies: practices that teachers engage in to create and maintain relationships with students and among students in a teaching/learning setting </li></ul><ul><li>Not often discussed in HE literature </li></ul><ul><li>Funding pressures and neo-liberal ideologies may impact on educational relations </li></ul>
  4. 4. Relational strategies in my research <ul><li>Focused on: </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers connecting to students </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers connecting students to each other </li></ul><ul><li>Creating classroom communities that enhance learning </li></ul>
  5. 5. Teachers connecting to students <ul><li>Sharing interests and experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Fun, humour, informality, put students at ease </li></ul><ul><li>Being approachable and accessible </li></ul><ul><li>Building rapport, getting to know students </li></ul><ul><li>Empathy </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting students </li></ul><ul><li>Pastoral care </li></ul>
  6. 6. Connecting students to each other <ul><li>Small group work </li></ul><ul><li>Mixing up students </li></ul><ul><li>Overcoming student isolation </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom participation </li></ul>
  7. 7. Creating classroom communities <ul><li>Main reason is to enhance learning </li></ul><ul><li>Respect </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting all voices in the classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Dealing with conflict </li></ul>
  8. 8. Implications of relational strategies <ul><li>Large classes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult to get to know students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult to find time to provide out-of-class time for all students who need it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relational strategies even more important </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Move beyond emphasis on dyadic teacher / student(s) relationships to a web of relations </li></ul><ul><li>Use the term ‘relational strategies’ to promote awareness of what teachers do to build and maintain classroom relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher is a relation not a role (Noddings, 2003), value relationships for their own sake </li></ul>
  9. 9. Questions <ul><li>What are ways teachers and their institutions can support educational relationships, especially when teachers have high student numbers? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the notion of ‘relational strategies’ a useful one or could it reduce the complexities of relationships to lists of techniques? </li></ul>
  10. 10. References <ul><li>Biesta, G. (2004). &quot;Mind the gap!&quot; Communication and the educational relation. In C. Bingham & A. Sidorkin (Eds.), No education without relation (pp. 11-22). New York: Peter Lang. </li></ul><ul><li>Mariskind, C. (2011). ‘Making a difference’: University teachers’ narratives of student diversity. (Unpublished doctoral thesis). Wellington, New Zealand: Victoria University of Wellington. </li></ul><ul><li>Noddings, N. (2003). Caring: A feminine approach to ethics and moral education (2nd ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Raivoka, M. (2009). Creating opportunities: The village at the university. In K. Sanga & C. Chu (Eds.), Living and leaving a legacy of hope: Stories by new generation Pacific leaders (pp. 69-74). Wellington: He Parekereke, Victoria University of Wellington. </li></ul>