chapter  Chapter 12
21 Pages

Nurturing close student–teacher relationships

WithPenny Van Bergen, Kevin McGrath, Daniel Quin

This chapter explores the characteristics of different student–teacher relationships and the contexts in which they develop. It focuses on available research evidence to identify the benefits of close and supportive student–teacher relationships for all students. The chapter considers the practices that can help teachers to nurture close relationships with their students. It presents a blueprint that teachers, teacher educators and researchers can use to drive new lines of questioning and troubleshoot interactional problems as they arise. Research investigating student–teacher relationships typically characterises these relationships using three relational constructs: closeness, conflict and dependency. Teaching is often described as a type of emotional labour, requiring teachers to manage their emotions in accordance with professional rules and expectations. The benefits of close and supportive student–teacher relationships are particularly important for students who are otherwise vulnerable. Closeness within the student–teacher relationship is supported by care, warmth and open communication.