Teacher experience and the teacher-student relationship in the classroom environment

J.M.G. Brekelmans, Th. Wubbels, P.J. Brok, den

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    In the classroom environment, the interpersonal relationship between teacher and students is an important element contributing to the learning process of students. In this chapter, we explore the significance of the experience of the teacher in realising relationships with students, appropriate from the perspective of student outcomes. We use data from a cross-sectional and a longitudinal study to analyse differences between teachers in degree of dominant and co-operative behaviour in different stages of their professional career. The results show that teachers' ideals of the teacher–student relationship are rather stable during the teaching career; they consistently strive for a high degree of dominance and co-operativeness. The actual teacher–student relationship however changes during the career. On average, there is a significant increase in dominant behaviour of teachers during the first decade of their career: a movement towards the ideal teacher–student relationship. After this period, dominance stabilises. On average, there is no change in co-operative behaviour. There is no shift towards the ideal as experience grows. Implications of these findings for professional development of teachers in view of improving the classroom learning environment include training of dominant behavioural patterns and differentiation of accompanying cognitions and attitudes for pre- and in-service beginning teachers. During the career, the cognitive component to training and staff development may be more important in order to support teachers to select appropriate skills in particular situations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationStudies in educational learning environments: an international perspective
    EditorsS.C. Goh, M.S. Khine
    Place of PublicationSingapore
    PublisherWorld Scientific
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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