The influence of Teacher-Student Relationships and Teacher Feedback
The influence of Teacher-Student Relationships and Teacher Feedback upon Students Engagement with Learning Dr. Roger Wood Senior Lecturer in Primary Teacher Development Bishop Grosseteste University UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN School of Education Wednesday 7th June 2017 DISCLAIMER The views advised within this lecture are solely those of the lecturer based upon the personal research journey that he has made, is making and will continue to make. The
interlinked experiences, interpretations and understanding that he expresses hereafter do not in any way represent the views of other members of the educational research community within the current setting or any other entity outside this room. However, hopefully there may be some overlap!! The presenter is prepared for scepticism, uncertainty and doubt. This is something that he has come to understand more and more during his personal research journey. However, hopefully the experience and the lessons learnt will hopefully resonate with and help you as continue your own research journey (with your own research in mind). PERSONAL CONTEXT my story so far Prior to my doctoral research, I held various teaching, Head of Department (Science), and senior leadership roles (including a Deputy Headship and two Headships) within independent and maintained schools. 2011 2015: Ph.D. full-time study: School of Education, University of Birmingham.
Home: in Perthshire - part of my doctoral research was undertaken within a school in Scotland Since September 2015: Senior Lecturer in Primary Teacher Development at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) in Lincoln. Teaching across a number of different programmes within the School of Teacher Development, including the Primary PGCE, Third Year Undergraduate dissertation supervision, the MA in Education and MA TESOL programmes, and the Ed.D. programme. Responsibilities include: Module Lead Primary PGCE: Practitioner Inquiry; Module Lead Public Policy and Professional Practice (MA TESOL and MA Education); Expert Lead: Practitioner Inquiry (Postgraduate ITE), Inquiry-Based Learning through approaches such as the IB PYP and Authentic Learning (Undergraduate and Postgraduate ITE); Subject Lead: Science and Physical Education (Undergraduate and Postgraduate ITE), and; University Based Mentor for ITE Trainee Teachers on School Placements I am an External Examiner for the Primary PGCE programme at a UK university. My first academic book is being published in late 2017, and my second book is being published in 2018.
Key findings: I found that students' perceptions of teacher-student relationship quality had an impact upon the development and enactment of student autonomy. The mediating variable was the teacher's ability (through their behaviours and methods) that had a positive influence upon an individual student's perceived competence. My school-based focus was upon inquiry-based learning in science. Other methods focused upon students motivation and engagement with their schooling in general (regardless of curriculum subject). Dilemmas of Doctoral (and subsequent) Research!
Finding something to say the significance of your research from the What to the So What? Originality finding the gaps within the research corpus / making a contribution to knowledge The choice of an initial theory as the basis of a theoretical framework / as a focal lens The Conceptual Framework Research Design HOW DO I ANSWER MY RESEARCH QUESTION? Validity: Choice of research methods based upon the research question(s): qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods DILEMMA One: The Significance of my Research The So What? SIGNIFICANCE 1: Reported long-term disengagement with learning
1. Students declining motivation to engage with learning has been reported across the whole range of school grades over several decades. 2. Positive social cognition evolves in multiple interrelated sociocultural contexts. This influences students motivated engagement through repeated positive experiences with sustained positive outcomes. 3.
These include academic achievement, social functioning, well-being, as well as reduced dropout rates, boredom and disengagement with learning activities and schooling in general. 4. Teachers ability to engage students interest and participation in their schooling is regarded as essential for a sustained academic achievement. 5. Some researchers claim a reciprocal relationship between positive engagement and academic achievement. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA: OECD, 2000, 2013) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS: Martin et al., 2012), have proposed a causal link between students positive academic engagement and the subsequent improvements that students make in their academic achievement in that subject. Significance 2: STENHOUSE
It is teachers who in the end will change the world of the school by understanding it (Stenhouse, 1981, p.104). Stenhouse (1975) It is not enough that teachers work should be studied; they need to study it themselves (p. 143). He argued that the unique nature of each classroom means that the findings of others research should be applied, verified and adapted by teachers in their own classroom (p. 143). On the basis of this assertion alone, teachers should, therefore, play a central, highly important role in implementing interventions and initiatives designed to improve the students quality of learning. This includes teacher-driven research that has arisen from the teacher systematically questioning their own practice and their students responses. Definitions being clear about the conceptual definitions as these led to the operational
elements of my research Motivation is defined as the cognitive and affective force that initiates, sustains and directs engagement-predictive behaviours (Reeve, 2012). It has been defined as an inner psychological drive leading to action, i.e. engagement behaviours, based upon perceived self-efficacy (for example, Bandura, 1986ab, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2006). Engagement consists of a motivation-driven cognitive and behavioural construct predictive of and predicted by students perceptions of positive teacher-student relationships (relatedness) at school in tandem with the cognitive and affective desire to initiate and sustain participation in a range of learning contexts and activities therein (Fredricks et al, 2004). Observable as manifestations of the motivated desire to be involved within learning activities. Engagement has been argued as being synonymous with self-regulated learning through motivation-informed and driven desires or needs
The Focus of my Research The What? This was an investigation of the impact of the teacher-student relationship quality and students perceived competence upon students motivation to engage autonomously with learning activities. Autonomy self-direction, making choices and decisions, selfregulating, adaptive, directing the pace and focus of learning Not the same as independent DILEMMA - Finding the Gaps and justification Directions for my research!! 1. A wealth of empirical support for positively correlating student engagement as a predictor of academic achievement and motivated involvement within school in general. The main domain- or subject-specific
areas of student engagement research were in health and exercise (including PE), reading, and maths. By comparison, there had been a paucity of research regarding context-specific engagement factors in science. 2. Prior research had reported, to varying degrees, that there are several common key elements central to an engaging science education, including teaching methods / behaviours that promote autonomous learning and positive teacher-student relationships. While the findings of these studies defined some of the key factors regarded as being central to engaging students with science, none had considered potential reciprocity between teacher behaviours and student engagement with science (as suggested by Klem and Connell, 2004, p. 270). 3. There did not appear to be any published studies that had applied Self-Determination Theory (SDT) to the study of childrens engagement with science education within British schools. Confirmed by personal correspondence with Professors Ryan and Deci !!
A Eureka moment!! defining the direction of my research Fredricks et al. (2004) noted that the degree to which the three SDT needs mediate between teacher behaviour and engagement had not been investigated by most studies seeking to understand engagement Least studied were the motivational relationships between perceived competence and students engagement with learning (p. 82). Many studies had not considered how perceived competence and self-efficacy interplay, via teacher support, to inform students motivated engagement with learning activities (Fredricks et al., 2004, p. 83). Where models had been posited, the antecedents are often shown as simultaneous or as a simplistic linear relationship. However, nonlinear relationships could be proposed in terms of particular needs and contextual factors that inform students motivation and engagement. This includes: the consideration of whether some needs appear to have a greater impact comparative to others; whether some needs are required as the threshold for other needs to be motivated, or; whether a larger amount of one component is sufficient to compensate for less of another (p. 83).
As part of such research, the reciprocal relations between social contextual factors, academic perceptions and engagement could be investigated (Fredricks et al., 2004; Skinner and Belmont, 1993). DILEMMA Three the choice of theory Educational practices and the pursuit of educational policies cannot be understood except within the system of thought the theoretical framework which makes them intelligible as practices and as policies (Pring, 2000, p. 130). How do we make the transition from Dazed in the Sweet Shop to Confectioner!?! Where to start?
Where did the choice of Self-Determination Theory come from? SDT (Ryan and Deci, 2000a) was selected as a focal theoretical lens which has supported researchers facilitated understanding of sociocultural conditions within the classroom that satisfy as opposed to thwarting the psychological needs central to students engagement with learning. Therefore, the impetus throughout this research study has been upon the utilisation of SDT as an applied theoretical means of gaining a more informed understanding of motivating students engagement with learning SDT is similar to and shares theoretical similarities with numerous other social motivational theories, such as .
A SELECTION OF SOME OF THE LEARNING THEORIES THAT INFORM and CONTRIBUTE TO SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY (Ryan and Deci, 2000) in the Classroom (Ryan and Deci, 2009) SDT proposes that the satisfaction of three basic psychological needs (BPNs) will lead to students enhanced motivation to engage with learning activities (SDT: Ryan and Deci, 2000ab, 2009). SDT has been shown, through extensive prior research across a variety of life domains, to be an effective theory for identifying and explaining why some key classroom-based behaviours and variables appear to influence the students engagement more than others (Reeve, 2002, 2012). It is a sociocultural motivational theory that has been effectively applied within schools as a basis for developing evidence-based practice (Ryan and
Deci, 2009). SDT differs from other sociocultural motivation theories in two distinct ways: 1. It considers the quality of the unseen motivational regulator as opposed to the quantity of the motivational regulator. A distinction is made between the different qualities of motivation, which range along a continuum from the most positive quality, fully self-determined motivation, to the most negative quality, amotivation. 2. It is the only motivational theory that centralises the importance of autonomy in the form of an individuals self-regulated, volitional and sustained engagement in an activity. NOTE: Within the current research, relatedness refers to the students perceptions of the teacher-student relationship quality and the behaviours / methods that have an impact upon its quality. Competence refers to the basic psychological need to feel competent or achieve further competence. Autonomy includes the
motivation to be autonomous or the actual behavioural utilisation of opportunities to be autonomous during learning activities. The three motivational constructs (BPNs) central to SDT were used to define the theoretical boundaries for the research. Criticizing SDT To date, SDT-embedded research investigating motivational variables that have a positive impact upon students engagement has primarily pinpointed three key factors that inform students sustained engagement with learning activities: 1. Students enjoyment of learning within a learning environment, where they are able to perceive their own competence. This becomes the motivational drive for the making of volitional choices that enable them to exercise their own autonomy.
2. Being in receipt of feedback by a teacher that gives the student a sense of their current competence and strategies for achieving continued success within learning. 3. The important motivational influence of the teacher upon student engagement. The role of the teacher has been increasingly located centrally to the motivation that stems from the enhancement and progression of feelings of autonomy and competence. However .. WHERE my thinking led me when reading SDT-embedded educational research 1. How the three SDT needs potentially mediate between sociocultural factors and engagement had not been investigated by most studies seeking to understand engagement.
2. Least studied are the motivational relationships between perceived competence and students engagement with learning. 3. It was difficult to envisage the potential route map of the interplay between the three constructs of SDT and their motivational impact upon engagement with learning activities, as all three constructs have been presented as being simultaneous in their influence. This was true of, where included, both written described pathways and proposed pathways as diagrammatic models within published research. . THE NEXT STAGES IN MY THINKING .. A potential reciprocal relationship between the students perceived quality of the teacherstudent relationship, the students domain-specfic perceptions that they have the competence to achieve desired outcomes during learning activities, and the extent to which they felt
motivated to be autonomous during the said learning activities (for example, Skinner and Belmont, 1993) The Research Questions (RQs) 1. What does SDT-embedded evidence reveal to be the strongest sociocultural motivational influences upon the students engagement with learning? 2. What do students regard as the key influences that have an impact upon their motivated engagement with learning activities? Three stages within the research design. Each step and method therein built upon the emergent findings and conclusions drawn within the previous step
Design and Methods pathway for the research Development of a METAQUALITATIVE INTERPRETATION (MQI) using protocols for METAETHNOGRAPHIC REVIEW (MER) (Noblit and Hare, 1988). 32 studies which have tested and / or applied SDT as a basis for investigating factors that influence students engagement with learning. Translation and synthesis using Best Evidence Synthesis (Slavin, 1986, 1987). (n = 20,949) MAIN STUDY
Retrospective longitudinal (multi-cohort, multioccasion) design In-school testing of the emergent findings of the MQI (MER) based upon the second- and third order interpretations formed further to the BES TRIANGULATION of the Main Study and MER using an online survey. Testing of emergent
findings and three proposed claims to knowledge regarding the interplay of the three SDT basic needs in the classroom. (n = 191) Use of questionnaires (n= 92) and focus group interviews (n = 49). during the first part of my literature review of student engagement, when I started to consider the use of SDT as a theoretical lens, the question
arose as to whether there may be a hierarchy amongst the three SDT constructs / needs in terms of their impact upon each other and, as an outcome, engagement. The possibility of a hierarchy of influence and impact was an unconsidered or unaddressed possibility across the encountered SDT research literature. Such a hierarchy amongst variables informing different forms of engagement has been proposed by Reschly and Christenson (2006, 2012). The Conceptual Framework at the start of the research process
based upon the Literature Review Findings of the MER: a Meta-Qualitative Inquiyt (MQI) 1. Students perceived quality of the teacher-student relationship has an associated influence upon their perceived competence. That is, students autonomous motivation for learning appears to be based upon the development of a positive teacher-student relationship informed by the direction and persistence of the students perceived competence. 2, The quality and persistence of perceived competence commonly emerged as having an impact upon students desire to be autonomous within learning activities. 3. Students perceptions of the quality of the teacher-student relationship and the satisfaction of their need to perceive themselves as competent were emerging as the central motivational SDTbased variables within the classroom environment.
4. Both the perceived quality of the teacher-student relationship and students perceived competence appear to be informed by cognitive and affective responses to specific learning activities. Such responses include perceived self-efficacy and desired competence motivation. Potential motivational pathway between the three SDT constructs based upon the findings of the MQI (BES) (Stage One) Stage Two: School-based Research QUESTIONNAIRES as a basis for FOCUS GROUP INTERVIEWS (FGIs) Investigation of the extent to which, if at all, the desire to be autonomous is made in response to affective and cognitive perceptions of the extent to which students perceive that the teacher meets their needs for both relatedness and competence. A retrospective research design was developed, enabling the collection of data across four
student cohorts. The longitudinal timeframe for the research involved three data collection points and seven focus group interviews. The design was based upon the multicohortmultioccasion approach developed by Marsh et al. (1998). A mixed method approach combining quantitative and qualitative methods (Cresswell, 2009; Gorard and Taylor, 2004) collected students self-reported perceptions of the mediating influence of science teacher behaviours and methods upon students engagement with learning activities in a science learning environment. Development of the model for the motivational pathway between the three SDT constructs based upon the findings of the MER and school-based research. The third stage - Triangulation: An online survey The survey was designed, distributed and analysed using Bristol Online Survey ( http://www.survey.bris.ac.uk/)
The questions were based upon the claims and emergent findings, with wording being based upon two prior-validated SDT questionnaires: Perceived Autonomy Support: The Climate Questionnaire and the Perceived Competence Scale (PCS) [acquired from www.selfdeterminationtheory.org]. The questions and accompanying statements were all tested (by means of a pilot study with a small group of former students) to ensure that they were phrased in such a way that they were not ambiguous, and that they enabled respondents to call upon their opinions through fact-based answers. (The same principles of design and testing of surveys has been applied as in the main study).
Participants were recruited by convenience sampling, through social media. The survey drew upon their self-reported perceptions within their schooling in general as opposed to within a specific subject, i.e. science. Areas investigated within the online survey: 1. Perceived teacher behaviours that had an impact upon motivation to engage with learning activities 2. Ranking of five classroom-based factors that respondents regarded as most important to their motivated engagement with learning within lessons
3. Using a four-point Likert scale, respondents were asked to indicate the strength with which they agreed or disagreed with 5 statements in relation to their own learning and perceptions when they were being taught by a teacher they regarded as motivating their engagement with learning; 4. The ranking of four aspects of teachers behaviours and methods were most important to their involvement as an engaged learner during lessons perceived as motivating; 5.
Using a four-point Likert scale, indication of the strength with which respondents agreed or disagreed with 10 statements in relation to the factors that informed the perceived quality of the teacherstudent relationship, and; 6. Deciding upon the order of influence upon motivation, in terms of how each of the BPNs (SDT-related) led to another as the basis for respondents motivated engagement with learning. Drawing together the research findings as the interpretive means for the informed evolution of the proposed SDT-informed motivational model
THE KEY FINDINGS Rather than the three SDT constructs either being of equal impact, or similar influence, or being manifested simultaneously, the evidence from the three studies suggests that the strongest influences within SDT are the reciprocal relationships between relatedness and competence. Specifically, it emerged that the perceived quality of the teacher-student relationship has an impact upon students perceived competence, both of which appear, in turn, predictive of the extent to which students feel the need to be autonomous and / or that they are learning within an autonomy supportive classroom. However, it appears that the potential reciprocal relationship between relatedness and competence has a stronger influence upon students sustained engagement with learning, and that the need to be autonomous (in terms of what and how subject matter
should be learnt) is not as strong and has a lesser comparative motivational impact upon students engagement with learning. A potential reciprocal motivational pathways model outlining the two proposed forms of autonomy support by
teachers Proposed motivational pathway between the three SDT constructs, with autonomy / autonomous motivation as outcomes that are dependent upon the perceived cumulative quality of relatedness and competence (Final Version based upon cumulative evidence) Originality 1. The in-situ testing of the applicability of SDT within a British school. (To date, the majority of the published studies testing SDT have taken place in the USA, Canada and Belgium. The meta-qualitative interpretation (MQI) unearthed two studies based within Britain, both of which had focused upon the informed use of SDT within physical education lessons). 2. The assertion that the three constructs within SDT are variant in their reciprocal impact upon students perceived motivation for and engagement within the classroom: that is, the evidence collected suggests that the strongest influences are the reciprocal relationships between relatedness and
competence. 3. The adaptation / development / testing of questionnaires for the purposes of the main study: these may be added to the bank of SDT-informed questionnaires that may be used with younger students (aged 8 to 13). 4. A proposed motivational pathway for the impact of SDT constructs upon engagement: that is, that relatedness and competence have a variant and combined reinforcing impact upon students selfdetermined engagement and autonomy with learning. CONTACT DETAILS Dr. Roger Wood Senior Lecturer in Primary Teacher Development Bishop Grosseteste University Lincoln
[email protected] REFERENCES Bandura, A. (1986a) Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Bandura, A. (1986b) The Explanatory and Predictive Scope of Self-Efficacy Theory. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 3(4): 359 373. Bandura, A. (1993) Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning. Educational Psychologist, 28(2): 117 - 148. Bandura, A. (1997) Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman. Bandura, A. (2001) Social cognitive theory: An agentic perspective. Annual Review of Psychology, 52: 1 26. Cresswell, J.W. (2009) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. (3rd edn.) Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.
Darby, L. (2005) Science Students Perceptions of Engaging Pedagogy. Research in Science Education, 35: 425 445. Deci, E.L. and Ryan, R.M. (2002) Self-Determination Research: Reflections and Future Directions. In Deci, E.L. and Ryan, R.M. (eds.) Handbook of Self-Determination Research. (pp. 431 - 441) Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press. Fredricks, J.A., Blumenfeld, P.C. and Paris, A.H. (2004) School Engagement: Potential of the Concept, State of the Evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74(1): 59 109. Gorard, S. and Taylor, C. (2004) Combining Methods in Educational and Social Research. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Klem, A.M. and Connell, J.P. (2004) Relationships Matter: linking Teacher Support to Student Engagement and Achievement. Journal of School Health, 74(7): 262 273. Marsh, H.W., Craven, R. and Debus, R. (1998) Structure, Stability, and Development of Young Children's Self-Concepts: A Multicohort-Multioccasion Study. Child Development, 69(4): 1030 1053. Marsh, H.W. and Martin, A.J. (2011) Academic self-concept and academic achievement: Relations and causal ordering.
British Journal of Educational Psychology, 81: 59 77. Martin, M.O., Mullis, I.V.S., Foy, P. and Stanco, G.M. (2012) TIMSS 2011 International Results in Science. Chestnut Hill, MA: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Boston College. OECD (2000) Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators. Paris: OECD. OECD (2013) PISA 2012 Results: Ready to Learn Students Engagement, Drive and Self-Beliefs. Volume III. Paris: OECD. Pring, R. (2000) Philosophy of Educational Research. (2nd edn.) London: Continuum. Reeve, J. (2002) Self-Determination Theory Applied to Educational Settings in Deci, E.L. and Ryan, R. M. (eds.) Handbook of Self-Determination Research. Rochester, NY: The University of Rochester Press. Reeve, J. (2012) A Self-determination Theory Perspective on Student Engagement. In Christenson, S. L., Reschly, A. L. and Wylie, C. (eds.) The Handbook of Research on Student Engagement. pp. 149 172. New York: Springer Science.
Reschly, A.L. and Christenson, S.L. (2006) Prediction of dropout among students with mild disabilities: A case for the inclusion of student engagement variables. Remedial and Special Education, 27: 276 292. Reschly, A.L. and Christenson, S.L. (2012) Jingle, Jangle, and Conceptual Haziness: Evolution and Future Directions of the Engagement Construct. In Christenson, S. L., Reschly, A. L. and Wylie, C. (eds.) The Handbook of Research on Student Engagement. (pp. 3 20). New York: Springer Science. Ryan, R.M. and Deci, E.L. (2000a) Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being. American Psychologist, 55(1): 68 78. Ryan, R.M., & Deci, E.L. (2000b) Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25: 54 - 67. Ryan, R.M. and Deci, E.L. (2009) Promoting Self-Determined School Engagment; Motivation, Learning and WellBeing. In Wentzel, K.R. and Wigfield, A. (eds.) Handbook of Motivation at School. (pp. 171 196). New York: Routledge. Skinner, E.A. and Belmont, M.J. (1993) Motivation in the Classroom: Reciprocal Effects of Teacher Behavior and
Student Engagement Across the School Year. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(4): 571 - 581. Stenhouse, L. (1975) An Introduction to Curriculum Research and Development. London: Heinemann. Stenhouse, L. (1981) What Counts as Research? British Journal of Educational Studies, 29: 103 - 114. Wood, D.R. (2016) The Impact of Students Perceived Relatedness and Competence upon their Motivated Engagement with Learning Activities: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation: University of Birmingham.
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