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Title: Teachers’ and students’ experiences of positive relationships in secondary education
Authors: Cramond, Jill Alison
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis explores experiences of positive Teacher-Student Relationships (TSRs) in secondary education from both teachers’ and adolescents’ perspectives. It is comprised of four chapters: a Systematic Literature Review (SLR), methodological and ethical considerations, an empirical research project and a reflective synthesis. The Systematic Literature Review (Chapter 1) explores teachers’ and students’ experiences of TSRs in secondary education settings. Meta-ethnography was used to synthesise five research papers that were identified as relevant to the review. Findings suggest that teachers and students experience positive relationships as being characterised by kind and friendly interactions, informality and humour and communications that are respectful and equal. Teacher responsivity and sensitivity were identified as important and the concept of going above and beyond for students was discussed. This chapter may support the development of positive TSRs in settings within proximal processes and may also support the development of relational policies in schools. Chapter 2 aims to act as a link between the meta-ethnography and empirical research. Philosophical assumptions are discussed leading to a rationale for the methodology employed. Key ethical considerations are discussed, paying particular attention to the changes to research design and subsequent ethical decisions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The empirical research report (Chapter 3) explores TSRs in upper secondary school in one mainstream secondary setting. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with two teachers and two students from Years 10 and 11 and data was transcribed and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Perceptions of the culture of relationships in school were found to be important. Findings also suggest that reciprocal interactions filled with human responses, playfulness and care were important. Agency, availability, recognition of responsibility, authenticity and consistency were found to be important elements of positive relationships from teachers towards their students. These findings have implications for teachers, school leaders and for Educational Psychologists. Chapter 4 consists of a reflective synthesis detailing the professional and academic learning acquired through the research journey. In this chapter, what the work means for research and practice is discussed, as well as the next steps for this enquiry. Chapters 1 and 3 have been prepared for publication and are presented in the style of papers typically published by the British Educational Research Journal.
Description: D. App. Ed. Psy. Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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