The Benefit of Student Teacher Relationships and Positive Interaction
Keywords: teacher student relationship, teacher positive interaction, positive interaction education benefits
Teachers who have positive interaction with their students create classroom environments more helpful to learning and meet students’ developmental, emotional and educational needs.
Teaching is a people profession that demands a large amount of time being dedicated to personal interaction. Positive teacher-student interaction has a very crucial role for effective teaching and learning to take place (Arthur, Gordon, & Butterfield, 2003). There are many important factors including productive Teaching and learning. Positive teacher-student interaction can be defined by shared acceptance, understanding, affection, intimacy, trust, respect, care and cooperation (Krause, Bochner, & Duchesne, 2006). The Teacher Student relationship depends on very large extent upon effort from both parties although the teacher plays a key role and in fact, the responsibility, to initiate positive interaction. The teacher who is practical in representation, recognition, understanding, intimacy, expectation, respect, care and cooperation towards his or her students not only works at initiating positive teacher-student relationships, but also increases the likelihood of building strong relationships that will endure over time (Barry & King, 1993).
Teacher-student interaction is important for many reasons. Teacher student interaction is highly influence a student’s skill to change to University, to do well at University, and to relate to peers (Pianta, 1999). Teachers who had positive and secure relationships with students reported that their students were less likely to stay away from school, appeared more independent, more supportive, and busy in learning (Birch & Ladd, 1997; Klem & Connell, 2004).
Teacher-student Interaction has an impact on classroom management and affects learning and growth. According to developmental perspective, the establishment of a positive teacher-student relationship aids a student’s cognitive, social and emotional growth and enhances their mental well-being (Brazelton & Greenspan, 2000).
The teacher-student relationships impact productively on a student’s self-esteem and enhance their skills. Student-Teacher interactions are very important for the development of the students’ academic self-concept and enhancing their enthusiasm and success. Colleges and universities that actively promote close and frequent contact between their students and faculty members are more likely to reap a host of benefits from such initiatives. Faculty members taking an interest in their students’ academic progress could potentially make significant contributions in increasing their intellectual and professional development (Anaya & Cole, 2001; Chickering, 1969; Chickering & Reisser, 1993; Cokley, 2000; Terenzini & Pascarella, 1980). There is evidence that students successful in knowing even one faculty member closely are likely to feel more satisfied with their college life and aspire to go further in their careers (Rosenthal et al., 2000). Although most interactions with faculty tend to occur within the formal classroom setting, students who experience informal interactions tend to be more motivated, engaged, and actively involved in the learning process (Thompson, 2001; Woodside, Wong, & Weist, 1999). Informal interaction between students and faculty has been identified as a primary agent of college culture, and has an important influence on the attitudes, interests, and values of college students (Chickering & Reisser, 1993; Lambert, Terinzini, & Lattuca, 2007; Pascarella, 1980b; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991, 2005; Thompson, 2001). However, although previous research has established that student-faculty interactions are important, we still need to identify which aspects of student-faculty interactions are helpful and how these could significantly influence students to stay in college, increase their desire to work hard, stimulate them to enjoy learning, and encourage them to strive toward high achievement standards (Bean,1985). The current study addresses this gap in the literature by examining eight specific types of student-faculty interactions as predictors of academic self-concept and three types of academic motivation, as well as academic achievement in a sample of college students from a medium-sized, public university located in the Midwestern United States.
Interactions between students and faculty members are inevitable and personal connections that emerge through advisement and mentoring are highly valued (Light, 2001). In responding to several implicit, unspoken, and nonverbal cues, students are more likely to interact with faculty members perceived to be sociable, intelligent, showing leadership, supportive, and objective (Babad, Avni-Babad, & Rosenthal, 2003; Furnham & Chamorro-Premuzic, 2005). Faculty members allowing students to use their first names are perceived as higher in warmth, approachability, and respect in comparison to faculty members
who are addressed by formal titles (McDowell & Westman, 2005). Student-faculty interactions can be formal or informal, occurring either inside or outside instructional settings, with both playing an important role in determining students’ academic success (Jacobi, 1991). The most frequent type of contact that students have with faculty members typically include situations in which they are asking for information about a course or visiting after class (Kuh & Hu, 2001). Faculty-student interactions could
take on a more intense flavor in a tutorialstyle classroom, where a faculty member may meet with two students at a time for an hour, eventually interacting closely with about five such pairs of students per week (Smallwood, 2002). Such close, intense, interaction seems to enhance student learning and intellectual stimulation, with both students and faculty valuing the opportunity to know each other
at an informal and personal level. Cox and Orehovec (2007) identified four major types of student-faculty interactions with the most important, “functional interaction,” referring to academic-related interactions outside the classroom. The other three types include personal interactions about some personal issues unrelated to academics, incidental contact maintained by occasional greetings, and finally disengagement, where there is minimal interaction with the faculty member inside the classroom and little or no
interpersonal exchange. Even though faculty members may not always be aware of it, their interactions
can have a far-reaching influence on their students. Faculty member-student relations are a strong motivator and indicator of learning (Christensen & Menzel, 1998). In particular, Decker, Dona, and Christenson (2007) note that the student-faculty member relationship is more important in predicting
students’ social-emotional functioning than their academic performance. This implies that there is a support-seeking dimension in student-faculty member relationships that can be carefully nurtured to shape positive outcomes for students. Informal interactions with faculty members outside the classroom have been found to have an incremental effect on students’ motivation over and above the typical predictors of academic performance such as secondary school performance or academic aptitude (Pascarella & Terinzini, 2005; Pascarella, Terenzini, & Hibel, 1978). Informal discussions with faculty
members about intellectual issues are associated with increases in students’ aspirations to achieve at a higher level than would be predicted by pre-enrollment characteristics. Initial interactions with faculty members are also very influential in increasing the value placed on high academic achievement and in
compensating for the general student culture that does not typically value such achievement. Mentoring provided by faculty members as a sponsor, confidant, and protector seem to be relatively more important than even peer support, for students who are transitioning into college (Mann, 1992; Shore; 2003). Thus, faculty members seem to play an important role in the overall college experience for new and continuing students.
Adolescents who model themselves after their teachers rather than their friends report higher levels of school adjustment (Ryan et al., 1994). Informal faculty-student contacts play a particularly crucial role during the first year in college because they allow students to integrate their academic and extracurricular experiences (Goodman & Pascarella, 2006; Pascarell & Terenzini, 1977; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). Further, students reporting high and moderate levels of interactions with faculty members (relative to low interactions) rate their academic program as being more interesting, exciting, and enjoyable, as well
as more relevant and necessary for their career. Finally, substantive student-faculty interactions have been found to have a positive impact on students’ vocational preparation and intellectual development (Kuh & Hu, 2001).These findings suggest that student-facultyinteractions have a multidimensional influence on the cognitive and emotional needs of students, thus validating the importance of faculty members as role models. Some researchers have found that students who spoke more frequently with faculty outside class and received advice about their educational program reported significantly higher academic self-confidence (Plecha, 2002). This finding is congruent with Endo and Harpel (1982) and Astin (1999)’s work showing that interacting frequently with faculty members is part of being academically engaged and students who are more involved do better in college. Similarly, Bjorkland, Parente, and Sathiyanathan (2002) note that students who are in more frequent contact with faculty members and receive more feedback on their performance show remarkable improvement in communicating in a group, competence in their specific field, awareness about their future occupation, and general problem-solving skills. Other reported benefits of such student-faculty relationships include greater satisfaction with academic life, lesser likelihood of dropping out, and feeling more intellectually driven (Hazler & Carney, 1993). In support of Chickering’s (1969) model, recent data suggest that students engaging in meaningful interactions with faculty members are more likely to have a sense of purpose and competence for succeeding in college (Martin, 2000). Further, students who perceive their faculty members to be caring and have positive informal interactions with them often report greater learning (Teven & McCroskey, 1997) as well as satisfaction with college and enhanced intellectual and personal development (Lamport, 1993).
When Pakistan was founded in 1947 as a result of the partition with India, the country had only one institution of higher education, the University of the Punjab. Over the next 20 years, many private and public schools and higher education institutions were established to help fuel the country’s socio-economic development.
In the early 1970s, all of Pakistan’s educational institutions were nationalized under the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was committed to the idea of Islamic Socialism.
For the next decade, Pakistan’s entire system of education was state-run. However, the growing demand for higher education fast outpaced the establishment of new public universities. During that period, the system could accommodate only 25 percent of the high school graduates who applied to higher education institutions. The overcrowding prompted many wealthy Pakistanis to seek university degrees abroad in the United States, Great Britain and Australia, while others sought out private tutors at home or entered the job market without a degree.
In 1979 a government commission reviewed the consequences of nationalization and concluded that in view of the poor participation rates at all levels of education, the public sector could no longer be the country’s sole provider of education. By the mid-1980s, private educational institutions were allowed to operate on the condition that they comply with government-recognized standards.
Until 1991, there were only two recognized private universities in Pakistan: Aga Khan University established in 1983; and Lahore University of Management Sciences established in 1985. By 1997, however, there were 10 private universities and in 2001-2002, this number had doubled to 20. In 2003-2004 Pakistan had a total of 53 private degree granting institutions.
The rapid expansion of private higher education is even more remarkable if we look at the number of institutions established on a year-by-year basis. In 1997, for instance, three private institutions were established; in 2001 eleven new private institutions were opened; and in 2002 a total of 29 private sector institutions sprung up. According to HEC, there are total 128 recognized Universites in Pakistan, 70 are public and 58 are private.
PRIVATE VS. PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION
While the quality of Pakistan’s private universities varies widely, they all share some common traits. Most of them have adopted the American model of higher education, which features a four-year bachelor’s degree and system of credits.
Supporters of private higher education believe that non-government institutions can deliver higher quality education and do it far more efficiently than the public sector. They point to the fact that private schools rarely suffer the closures and class suspensions their public counterparts do, and that students enrolled at these schools are more apt to complete their degree programs on time. They also believe that private universities will introduce international standards of competence and accountability.