Mattering to teachers [electronic resource] : a social psychological approach to the teacher-student relationship
- Sara Jordan-Bloch.
- Physical description
- 1 online resource.
All items must be viewed on site
Request items at least 2 days before you visit to allow retrieval from off-site storage. You can request at most 5 items per day.
|3781 2013 J||In-library use|
- While a large and steady body of literature has shown that teachers have an important and durable impact on their students' education, the ways in which they are important are still largely unknown. In this dissertation, I approach the question of how teachers influence students' outcomes in school from a unique perspective. Rather than focusing on teachers' characteristics, I use the concept of mattering to examine students' perceptions of their teachers' perceptions of them. A student's perception of whether she matters to her teacher is driven by her perception that she is noticed, important, and/or needed by her teacher. Mattering is a distinctly relational concept, one in which perceptions of the other drive perceptions of the self. I ask how perceptions of mattering to teachers are instilled and manifested, and I connect these perceptions to important student outcomes, including effort, affect, misconduct, and grades. The central research questions guiding this study are: 1) How do students experience mattering to their teachers? 2) How are students' perceptions that they matter to their teachers related to students' functioning in school? and 3) What is the relationship between mattering to teachers and teacher significance? These questions are addressed by evidence collected from ninth graders at two large California public high schools (N=1001). I adopt a mixed-method approach based on longitudinal survey data, observational data, and in-depth interview data. Students' perceptions of mattering to their teachers are formed in interactions in which students feel like they are noticed by their teachers and that their success in school is important to their teachers. These kinds of interactions can be very simple -- from saying "hi" in the hallway to a casual check-in during class. These interactions, while they may be simple and straightforward, have large effects on students. Statistical analyses reveal that students' perceptions of mattering to their teachers are strongly and positively related to their functioning in school. The more students perceive themselves to matter to their teachers, the more they put in effort, enjoy school, get good grades and stay out of trouble. While all students benefit from perceiving themselves to matter to their teachers, this relational resource is particularly effective for boys. Boys consistently report lower levels of perceived mattering to their teachers than girls, but the effects of mattering to teachers are often bigger for boys than girls. Results indicate that students' evaluations of their teachers' significance fundamentally inform students' perceptions that they matter to their teachers. In order for a student to perceive herself to matter to her teacher, she has to think her teacher is a reliable source of that perception. In examining the role of the teacher through the lens of the student's self-concept, this work contributes to our understanding of the mechanisms through which teachers affect students' experiences and performance in school. Students' perceptions that they matter to their teachers -- that they are interpersonally integrated -- is a tie that binds them to the institution of school in a meaningful and durable way. Embedded in these findings are implications for school structure, classroom pedagogy and teaching practices.
- Publication date
- Submitted to the Department of Sociology.
- Ph.D. Stanford University 2013
Browse related items
Start at call number: