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Effect of Teacher Student Relationship on Academic Performance

EFFECT OF TEACHER STUDENT RELATIONSHIP ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

Education all over the world is acknowledged to be the most powerful and indispensable instrument for not only economic and political advancement but also for progress in all spheres of human endeavour. Hence, the Federal Government of Nigeria has adopted education as an instrument for nurturing productive citizenry and fostering national development (Ukpong, 2003). These laudable and significant roles of education in the overall development of the country led to the establishment of schools in all parts of the country as well as the initiation of the teaching-learning process which of course is the platform through which the goals and philosophy of education are promoted.

Effect of Teacher Student Relationship on Academic Performance

Teachers play an important role in the grooming of students throughout the formal schooling experience (Baker, Grant, & Morlock, 2008). Although most research regarding teacher-student relationships investigate the elementary years of schooling, teachers have the unique opportunity to support students’ academic and social development at all levels of schooling. Aligned with attachment theory positive teacher-student relationships enable students to feel safe and secure in their learning environments and provide scaffolding for important social and academic skills (Baker et al., 2008; O’Connor, Dearing, & Collins, 2011; Silver, Measelle, Armstrong, & Essex, 2005). Teachers who support students in the learning environment can positively impact their social and academic outcomes, which is important for the long-term trajectory of school and eventually employment.

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According to Hamre & Pianta (2001) when teachers form positive bonds with students, classrooms become supportive spaces in which students can engage in academically and socially productive ways. Positive teacher-student relationships are classified as having the presence of closeness, warmth, and positivity. Students who have positive relationships with their teachers use them as a secure base from which they can explore the classroom and school setting both academically and socially, to take on academic challenges and work on social-emotional development. This includes relationships with peers, and developing self-esteem and self-concept.

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Effect of Teacher Student Relationship on Academic Performance

Through this secure relationship, students learn about socially appropriate behaviors as well as academic expectations and how to achieve these expectations (Hamre & Pianta, 2001). Students in low-income schools can especially benefit from positive relationships with teachers (Murray & Malmgren, 2005).

Students in high-poverty urban schools may benefit from positive teacher-student relationships even more than students in high-income schools, because of the risks associated with poverty (Murray & Malmgren, 2005). Risk outcomes associated with poverty include high rates of high school dropout, lower rates of college applications, low self-efficacy, and low self-confidence.

There are several factors that can protect against the negative outcomes often associated with low-income schooling, one of which is a positive and supportive relationship with an adult, most often a teacher. Low-income students who have strong teacher-student relationships have higher academic achievement and have more positive social-emotional adjustment than their peers who do not have a positive relationship with a teacher (Murray & Malmgren, 2005). It was against this background that the study seeks to find out whether teachers-students relationship has effect on students’ academic performance.

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