Knoell, Christopher M.; Crow, Sherry R.
December 2013
International Journal of Psychology: A Biopsychosocial Approach ;2013, Issue 13, p31
Academic Journal
Background. Student achievement and adequate yearly progress (AYP) have practitioners and researchers alike searching for strategies that will sustainable student academic growth. One area of study that may inform practitioners is furthering an understanding of student-teacher relationships for students of differing abilities and in different types of schools and situations. Purpose.The purpose of this study was to compare and contrast the level of teacher influence perceived by fifth grade students from poverty and affluent schools in a rural midwestern community. Method. Research was conducted using a mixed-methods approach, with data collected from 24 semi-structured student interviews. Results. Results indicated similarities between the perceptions of teacher influence for students in poverty and affluent schools on school-related issues, as well as differences in perceptions of overall teacher influence on their lives, especially on non-school related issues. Conclusions. An implication of the study is that students in poverty tend to have weaker foundational relationships with parents and lack trust of adults in general, and therefore may not have the emotional and psychological building blocks to naturally form strong relationships with teachers. Recommendations include concentrated efforts in mentoring students of poverty, as well as promoting experiences with influential adults in order to build stronger positive relationships both in and out of school.


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