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Types of relationships between teachers and students


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Find out about various types of relationships between teachers and students and think about your own relationship with your students.

Published in: Education
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Types of relationships between teachers and students

  1. 1. Types of Relationships Between Teachers and Students Ecaterina Albu, MA Department of Germanic Linguistics and Intercultural Communication, MSU
  2. 2. Do you like your students?
  3. 3. Name 3 reasons why you always like your students  1.  2.  3.
  4. 4. Name 3 reasons why you don’t always like your students  1.  2.  3.
  5. 5. Name 3 reasons why you don’t always like your students  Do you sometimes consider some of them hopeless or “unteachable”?  Do they fail to be aware of the necessity to study?  Do they irritate you by their behaviour?  ???
  6. 6. How do you manage that?
  7. 7. "They don't pay me to like the students."
  8. 8. Kids don't learn from people they don’t like. Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, TED speaker
  9. 9. A great number of models of student-teacher relationship They mostly depend on: Age level and expertise of learners Type of educational institution discipline
  10. 10. Best teacher-student relationship?
  11. 11. Could you name some of the ROLES of the teacher in relationship with the students?
  12. 12. Some of the teacher roles  Controller  Assessor  Corrector  Organizer  Prompter  Resource  Facilitator  Source of expertise  Counsellor  Listener  Guide  Administrator  Negotiator  Participant  Catalyst  Supporter  Actor  Instructor
  13. 13. 1. Paternalistic (Authoritarian) Teacher  provides for a person’s basic needs without giving them autonomous, decision-making authority  will make decisions for the student  determine what information will be provided  provide only as much information as the parent thinks best for the student.  tends to act in what they perceive as the best interest of the student, regardless of what the student actually perceives as his/her own best interests
  14. 14.  Parents must produce changes in their children, else they die for lack of physical change known as growth.  Children left unfed will not prosper or long survive.  Parents attend to the needs of their offspring before such are known or appreciated by their progeny.  Educators must produce changes in their students, else they “die”, in an intellectual, cognitive and academic sense, for lack of the cognitive change known as intellectual growth.  Students left untaught will not prosper in society, or even survive, lacking the basic tools of social interaction.  Educators attend to the needs of their learners before such needs are known or appreciated by their students.  Educators, at least those who attempt to be responsible educators, make their best judgments as to how to best serve the needs of their students for intellectual development or growth.
  15. 15.  A student signing up for an introductory linguistic course may not understand the importance of linguistic notions (language, speech, thought), or the content of this type of course, and thus must rely on the instructor to make curricular choices in their best interest.
  16. 16. So what is the problem then?  Adult learners, while in possession of the emotional and cognitive capacities which signal informed consent and autonomy, are still lacking the intellectual capacity to decide the content of their studies  All teachers make decisions regarding course content and pedagogical methodology. This means that we are deciding what our students SHOULD know, what sorts of criteria we use for assessing that knowledge, the format for inquiry and discussion, and the claim that this knowledge will benefit them.  In making the informed choice to attend college, students are implicitly giving institutions the right to determine curricular programs and standards, and giving individual faculty members the right to set content and methodology in the classroom.
  17. 17. Problem:  most mature adults do not want to be treated as if they were children  becomes most problematic, if not downright insulting, when used with adults  in higher education there is often need for the learner to surrender decision making authority to the educator  the educator, who assumes the responsibility for the learner when making decisions on behalf of the learner, must aim to both benefit the learners and protect the learner from harm
  18. 18. 2. The Therapist Teacher is In: Pedagogy as Therapy  What would be an intellectual pathology to be addressed through formal education?  As humans are born ignorant and without skills, the normal natal condition of a human cannot be viewed as a pathological condition. So where would be the need for a cure?
  19. 19. Pedagogy as Therapy Physician Educator Bacterial Infection Incorrect Belief Viral Infection or Genetic Disposition Incorrect Information Injury Incapacitating Habit of Mind
  20. 20.  A belief held that is not supported by evidence and has counter-evidence in abundance available to the believer would be an "incorrect" belief.  An educator can identify such beliefs and then attempt to remedy them if there is an available therapy in the form of counter evidence, or the presentation of other beliefs held by the learner.  Placing incorrect information in proper context and providing the needed correctives  Each person "inherits" a great deal of information inherited from the social environment. Not all of it is accurate and much of it can be false.  Education can change ideas that a person inherits or that have been "given" as true. Pedagogy as Therapy
  21. 21. The problem of the “doctor”?  focusing more on the disease or organ system than on the person who is ill = focusing on the content of the curriculum rather than on the development and growth of the learner
  22. 22. 3. Priestly Teacher  Not just an expert in education or a professional field of study, but a supposed expert in morality and life in general  Full of certainty concerning the the ultimate goals of the instructional program and the sort of person to be produced  makes many decisions as to what is in the best interests of the learners
  23. 23. The problem of the soul-saver?  the faith of the educator in the ideal person as conceived by the educator  The priest is building character while teaching SOME subject matter.  The priest is turning out the perfect member of the congregation => the educator is seen as infallible  The process of inquiry is replaced with indoctrination and training
  24. 24. 4. Employee Teacher (less Authoritarian)  opposing alternative to the paternalistic approach  educators consider themselves to be contracted employees and the person in need of assistance is the employer who contracts for certain services to be supplied by the educator.  no obligation of the one toward the other beyond that of employer to employee.
  25. 25. The problem?  Most educators are not willing to see themselves and simply employees of the student and obliged to do only what they are instructed to do by those students.  Teachers think of themselves as more knowledgeable about the student’s condition and thus in a better position to make decisions concerning instruction than the learner.  “I know what you need, I am the specialist and you only need my services”
  26. 26. 5. Collegial Teacher (non-authoritarian)  Educator as a colleague of the recipient of instruction - as an equal  basic relationship which attempts to be non- authoritarian in as much as neither party has a position of power over the other.  meets and shares a common concern for the intellectual and vocational well being of the person seeking assistance.  discusses the situation, considers the options available and reaches a decision as to the most appropriate and desirable course of instruction.
  27. 27. The problem?  Educators are not the equal of the recipient of education in terms of knowledge and skills.  Students don’t see themselves on equal footing with those who they teach.
  28. 28. 6. Contractual Teacher (non-authoritarian)  educator as a party to a contract with the recipient of instruction to perform services.  If both agree to terms there is a contract.  The educator is obliged to do only what is stated in the contract and the recipient of the service must in turn provide remuneration as stated in the contract.
  29. 29.  parties to the contract usually have different educational backgrounds and knowledge of the intellectual condition of the potential student.  It is difficult, if not impossible, to arrange a fair contract between parties who are so unequal in their knowledge and interests. The problem?
  30. 30. 7. Entertainer Teacher (Edu-tainer)  Keeps students interested and entertained during lectures and discussions  This plays a valuable role in post-secondary education  Entertainers are often beloved by students, and rank very high on student evaluations.  Students flock to their courses, and they achieve celebrity status on campus.
  31. 31.  Only a presenter of inert facts instead of taking seriously their responsibilities as facilitators of informed and critical thought  “edu-tainers” can pose a significant threat to the integrity of the profession: if post-secondary education is to be conceived of as the entertaining transmission of facts, the fundamental mission of the academy is lost.  while engaging in presentation, they disengage from their students.  Professors who are entertaining AND who strive to achieve the goal of informed and critical thought meet the ethical obligations of the profession. But so are instructors who, while not pedagogically “exciting,” are cultivating the minds of their students in a variety of other ways.  Entertainment and education are not mutually exclusive. The problem?
  32. 32. 8. Covenantal Teacher  educators seeing themselves as involved in a covenant with a deity or society itself and OBLIGED to society to render care unto its members in return for what society had provided to the educators.  key elements: promise and fidelity to the promise – “Canon of Loyalty and Fidelity”  In this model the educator has received a gift of the knowledge and skills needed to practice the art of teaching. In return the educator has made a promise to pay off a debt in return for what was provided to prepare them to be a member of the profession of education.  ethical “aim” - not mere proficiency, but genuine care about the intellectual development of learners.
  33. 33.  There are not many educators who are ready to acknowledge any indebtedness to society (see also below) and the obligation to provide service to others in return.  Why should education be anything more than another job? The problem?
  34. 34. Which is the best relationship?
  35. 35. There is NO universal solution. Or it is… adapt and switch.
  36. 36.  Let’s be aware when to switch roles  Let’s teach the student, not the lesson  Let’s believe in our students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level
  37. 37. TED talk: Rita Pierson “Every kid needs a champion”  http://
  38. 38. Ikigai (Japanese) – the reason of being Let teaching become your ikigai