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Factors that Influence Teacher-Student Relationships

What Is The Teacher/Student Perception Of Teacher-Student Relationship?

What Is The Association Between Teacher-Student Relationships And Motivation?

What Is The Association Between Teacher-Student Relationship And Engagement?

Is There A Relationship Between Student Academic Performance And Motivation?

This section covers the literature review which is ordered in the following way. First, the view of the teacher and student on relationships is addressed, the factors that factors that lead to the development of relationships, and the effects of the perceived learner’s control of the classroom. Then the impact of the teacher-student association on both teams such as learner’s conduct and educational results are discussed.  Lastly, the review outlines how the teachers can initiate and sustain a positive teacher-student association.

The learners’ perception is very critical. Studies suggest that a child’s perception of control is critical in determining the learner’s motivation. Perceived control is the certainty that one can ascertain an individual’s conduct, affect one’s environment, and produce the expected results. Rimm-Kaufman & Sandilos (2011) assert that the learner’s perception of the instructor’s conduct affects the relationship. The student who perceives the teacher as unsupportive are less interested in learning and are less committed in the classroom (Gehlbach et al., 2012).  Teacher perception is equally convincing as student perception. When teachers undergo negative associations with the students, they become stressed, and this leads to negative interactions (Spilt et al., 2011).

Individual characteristics of both the learners and instructors are predictors to the nature of the associations between the two teams. Friendly interactions with the teachers with the students develop improved relationships, as opposed to the teachers whose response to the students is dependent on the conduct of the student. Therefore, the teachers have the mandate of being friendly to all students to establish a conducive learning environment and positive relationships (Hughes, 2011).

According to Skinner,& Pitzer (2012) perceived control is essential in establishing relationships. The lack of the feeling of self-control in students or the absence of the teacher’s care, makes them try to avoid problems, aim at the minimum and do not seek the teachers help, thus end up being unmotivated and distressed thus leading to low academic performance. On the other hand, if the students feel that they have control, they become more involved in educational activities, aim high and thus achieve performance.

A functional association between the learners and the teachers can positively affect the conduct of the student in the classroom. Maulana et al. (2013) note that a learning environment is vital in the development of the child’s motivation to learn, and positive associations can play a role in sustaining the learner’s desire and involvement in learning. According to self-determination theory, the learners should experience an emotional engagement with their instructors. Additionally, those students with good relationships with their teachers rarely forgo school (Rimm-Kaufman & Sandilos, 2012).

The Impact of Teacher-Student Relationships on Student Conduct and Results

Students’ motivation is significantly determined by the learning environment. Thus students must feel that they belong, and this is a determinant of motivational results and involvement. Maulana et al. (2013) assert that when a tutor establishes a conducive learning atmosphere and cares of the students’ necessities, the results of learning will be perfect because learners efficiently undertake tasks that they are enthusiastic about. Negative teacher-student association leads to poor student outcomes. A survey by Gehlbach et al. (2012) found out that endless conflicts between teachers and students led to lower grades.

Positive teacher-student relationships can be established through promoting control (Skinner,& Pitzer, 2012), communicating high expectations for students (Pianta, Hamre,  & Allen, 2012), provide teacher feedback (Skipper & Douglas, 2015), developing familiarity with the students (Cooper & Miness, 2014), and encourage effective communication with the students including the use of verbal and non-verbal cues (MacSuga-Gage, Simonsen, & Briere, 2012).

The objective of this study will be to ascertain whether the development of positive relationships between the instructors and learners affect the academic Performance and Motivation of students. This section, therefore, outlines the study population, the sampling design, the development of the study instruments, data collection, data analysis and the work schedule.

The study participants will be high school students from Villa International High School Malé Island and Baarashu School in Baarah Island, both in the Maldives. Both schools comprise of learners from varying economic background. The participants to be selected by the researcher will be from various English clusters in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades.

The study will adopt Stratified Random Sampling since it allows sub-divisions into strata (Acharya et al., 2013). Thus, the schools will be selected to represent a sub-group.  The researcher will include learners and staff from one best performing school (Villa International School) and from a low to medium performing school (Baarashu School). Then cluster sampling (Neuman, 2013)  will be used to choose the students on the basis of cluster membership such as maths class or English class, irrespective of the team’s ability. The teachers from the selected classes will also complete the self-evaluation questionnaire. A total of 18 teachers and 220 students from both schools are expected to participate in the study.

The Motivated Strategies for Learning Survey (MSLQ) will be used to measure student motivation, whereas, the feedback from the students will be evaluated with the help of the Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction (QTI). The means of the student grades will be used to measure their academic performance. The MSLQ is divided into two parts: the Motivation and the Learning strategies. The MSLQ ascertains the planning, monitoring, and regulation (Schunk, Meece, & Pintrich, 2012). The QTI evaluates the teacher conduct while in the class, and it uses a five Point Likert Scale.

Tips for Establishing Positive Teacher-Student Relationships

After the development of the research framework, permission will be sought for from the relevant bodies or departments and after which additional contacts will be made between the researcher and the anticipated participant teachers and the researcher. Parental consent will as well be sought for through the teachers. The study will be conducted on specific agree dates and during school hours. Those that will be suitable to contribute in the survey will be required to sign a Child Consent Form. The survey will then be administered to each participant from the selected cluster for both schools, without the presence of the teacher in the respective classroom. Similarly, the individual English class teachers will fill in their questionnaires outside the classroom and submit them to the researcher. The student questionnaires from a specific English class will be coded alongside that of their teacher.

The student performance grades will be obtained from the school database on the same day the survey is carried out. The gathered raw data will then be assigned codes to safeguard ones individual information. Then all the data will be entered into excel spreadsheets. The information will then be keyed into Statistical Programme for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 for analyses and interpretation.

After data is entered into the SPSS program, the demographic data will first be analyzed. Descriptive statistics including the percentages, frequency, and standard deviations will also be analyzed. Inferential statistics will as well be analyzed, and this includes determining the Pearson product moment r correlation to ascertain the relationship between the study variables.

The survey is expected to last for five months, starting March to August 2018, during 2018 to 2019 academic school year. The detailed description of the specific tasks and the period are shown below.

Table 3.1: Schedule of Research Survey

Task Name

Start date

End Date


Project proposal organization




Literature review




Data collection process




Data analysis process




Report presentation





Acharya, A. S., Prakash, A., Saxena, P., & Nigam, A. (2013). Sampling: Why and how of

  1. Indian Journal of Medical Specialties, 4(2), 330-333.

Cooper, K. S., & Miness, A. (2014). The co-creation of caring student-teacher relationships:

does teacher understanding matter?. The High School Journal, 97(4), 264-290.

De Castella, K., Byrne, D., & Covington, M. (2013). Unmotivated or motivated to fail? A

cross-cultural study of achievement motivation, fear of failure, and student disengagement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(3), 861.

Foster, S. S. (2011). Gender, justice, and schooling in ‘postfeminist’times: A critical

examination of the ‘boy crisis’(Doctoral dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder).

Gehlbach, H., Brinkworth, M. E., & Harris, A. D. (2012). Changes in teacher–student

relationships. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(4), 690-704.

Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. Routledge.

Hughes, J. N. (2011). Longitudinal effects of teacher and student perceptions of teacher-

student relationship qualities on academic adjustment. The Elementary school journal, 112(1), 38-60.

MacSuga-Gage, A. S., Simonsen, B., & Briere, D. E. (2012). Effective Teaching Practices:

Effective Teaching Practices that Promote a Positive Classroom Environment. Beyond Behavior, 22(1), 14-22.

Maulana, R., Opdenakker, M. C., Stroet, K., & Bosker, R. (2013). Changes in teachers’

involvement versus rejection and links with academic motivation during the first year of secondary education: A multilevel growth curve analysis. Journal of youth and adolescence, 42(9), 1348-1371.

Neuman, W. L. (2013). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Pearson education.

Pianta, R. C., Hamre, B. K., & Allen, J. P. (2012). Teacher-student relationships and

engagement: Conceptualizing, measuring, and improving the capacity of classroom interactions. In Handbook of research on student engagement(pp. 365-386). Springer, Boston, MA.

Rimm-Kaufman, S., & Sandilos, L. (2011). Improving students' relationships with teachers to

provide essential supports for learning. Teacher’s Modules.

Roorda, D. L., Koomen, H. M., Spilt, J. L., & Oort, F. J. (2011). The influence of affective

teacher–student relationships on students’ school engagement and achievement: A meta-analytic approach. Review of educational research, 81(4), 493-529.

Schunk, D. H., Meece, J. R., & Pintrich, P. R. (2012). Motivation in education: Theory,

research, and applications. Pearson Higher Ed.

Skinner, E. A., & Pitzer, J. R. (2012). Developmental dynamics of student engagement,

coping, and everyday resilience. In Handbook of research on student engagement (pp. 21-44). Springer, Boston, MA.

Skipper, Y., & Douglas, K. (2015). The influence of teacher feedback on children's

perceptions of student–teacher relationships. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(3), 276-288.

Spilt, J. L., Koomen, H. M., & Thijs, J. T. (2011). Teacher wellbeing: The importance of

teacher–student relationships. Educational Psychology Review, 23(4), 457-477.

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