Kindness works: Teachers' helping behaviors related to better student relationships and academic confidence

phys.org | 2/15/2019 | Staff
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Think back to your favorite teacher you had in school. Now, think about the subject they taught—you probably got a better grade in that subject than other classes.

Whether it is realized at the time or not, students' bonds with their math teachers can greatly impact their interest in the class.

Researchers - University - Missouri - Teacher - Association

Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that when a teacher believed they had a positive association with a student, that student was likely to agree that they had a positive connection as well as a higher interest and greater confidence in mathematics. In other words, having a healthy bond with a teacher might have academic perks.

"While it might not be surprising that better student-teacher relations have benefits, it is interesting to see that both students and teachers generally agree on the state of their bond," said Sara Prewett, a postdoctoral fellow in the MU College of Education. "If a student and a teacher can both agree that they have room to build a better connection, then that's an important first step in helping a student succeed."

Prewett - Team - School - Students - Relationships

Prewett's team investigated more than 330 middle school students' relationships with their math teachers to discover how their interactions impacted their feelings about math. The researchers found that the more prosocial classroom behaviors and social-emotional support activities a teacher exhibited, the more likely a student was to believe they were...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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