Teaching `Neka: An exploratory study of teacher-student relationships at one high-achieving urban public school /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Jones, Kamaya, author.
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2016
Description:1 electronic resource (237 pages)
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/10773439
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Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
Notes:Advisors: Sydney Hans Committee members: Kavita K. Matsko; Margaret B. Spencer; Richard Taub.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 77-08(E), Section: A.
Summary:Positive teacher-student relationships, particularly in urban minority public schools, can reduce dropout rates for at-risk students, increase attendance, and even encourage the development of positive life skills. While we know that these relationships are important, the literature on teacher-student relationships lacks practical understandings of how teachers construct positive teacher-student relationships in context, particularly when individual differences such as age, race, class, and gender present obstacles that teachers must navigate.
This dissertation research study illuminates the skills and behaviors some teachers utilize to create and maintain their successful relationships with students at Delaney Prep, a large urban public school with a high concentration of first and second generation Caribbean black students. Ten teachers with varying degrees of success, and twenty of their secondary school students were interviewed and observed throughout the school year in order to determine a) how successful teachers formulated successful relationships with students at Delaney Prep; b) what minority students at Delaney Prep wanted from their relationships; and c) whether individual teacher characteristics contributed to teachers' ability to create positive teacher-student relationship experiences for their students at Delaney Prep.
Findings suggest that teachers who formed the most positive teacher-student relationships were authentic, non-reactive, and scored as having highly open and conscientious personalities. These characteristics appeared to provide the backdrop for interactions with students that eventually developed into positive teacher-student relationships. The study results also indicated that teachers with opposite qualities had more adverse student outcomes. I propose a teacher-training model that includes more emphasis on skills that encourage teacher-student relationships, and that considers individual characteristics as part of the application process.