Review of Previous Research
The study contains research about the perceptions that teachers have on the experiences that they have had with their students in both problematic and positive relationships. The literature cited in the journal is closely related to past studies. Incidentally, previous research by O'Connor (2008) indicates that one of the main reasons why teachers stay in the teaching profession is due to the existence of positive relationships that they build with their students (Luce et al., 2017). Conversely, according to Yoon (2002), they become stressed and suffer from negative emotions when their relationships with their students are problematic (p.2).
There are a variety of journals used in this study that were published more than ten years ago such as the years 2006, 2002, 2000, 1998, 1997, and 1992 indicating that the review of this study is not recent. There are no references that were left out in this study since the authors backed up every claim by providing the source and have hence not committed plagiarism.
Problem and Purpose
The problem has not been stated explicitly. After the review of the literature, the authors go directly into the method of research without providing the problem. The purpose of the study has been clearly stated in the method sub-section where the authors report that they conducted an exploratory interview study to investigate the perception of teachers on their interpersonal behavior with their students in relationships that are both problematic and positive (p. 4).
The purpose of this study is well tied to the literature since both the empirical and theoretical reviews provided speak about the perceptions of teacher-student interactions. For instance, the authors have demonstrated the interpersonal theory in the context of the classroom by showing how the agency and communion dimensions affect teachers' perceptions and behavior. The objective of the study has not been clearly stated.
The study has a conceptual rationale on which the hypotheses are grounded. Based on the Model of Interpersonal Teacher Behavior (MITB), the authors study the impacts of the combination of teacher communion and agency on the relationships that teachers have with their students and on the way students behave. These impacts are depicted in figures 1 and 2. Figure 1 shows the model of interpersonal teacher behavior while figure 2 shows the model of interpersonal student behavior.
The rationale for the study is to add to the theory the perceptions that teachers have of the relationships that they have with their students (p.4).
From the study, the null and alternative hypotheses have not been clearly and explicitly stated. The variables in this study are teachers' and students' agency and communion tendencies. Even though the authors have not expressly mentioned the hypotheses, it is clear that they are:
H0: Positive student-teacher interactions (based on agency and communion) cause positive perceptions to the teachers.
H1: Negative student-teacher interactions (based on agency and communion) cause negative perceptions to the teachers.
The hypotheses are grounded in the Model of Interpersonal Teacher Behavior (MITB). They can be tested by looking at how teachers' and students' behavior affect their relationships and finally influence teachers' perceptions. The authors tested the hypotheses by collecting qualitative data. This was carried out by interviewing the teachers by asking them to describe both positive and problematic relationships that they have had with their students, describe the interactions, students' perception of the teachers, as well as emotions experienced when interacting with those students (p. 5).
The dependent and independent variables are not clearly defined in the study. The study looks at the students' and the teachers' behavior both in and out of the classroom by analyzing their interpersonal behavior under the categories of both agency and communion. The variables have been properly described and depicted in the figures 1 and 2. The manner in which the study was conducted is clear. An exploratory interview was carried out where single units of both students' and teachers' behavior were studied.
The three aspects that the study focused on are the interpersonal contexts of the behavior, the topic or content of talk, and the context in which the actions and behavior occurred. Participants were selected using a mixed method approach, and then qualitative data was collected. Data analysis was then conducted, and the differences in responses are depicted qualitatively through the use of quotes and quantitatively using figures.
The study was conducted by interviewing twenty-eight high school teachers. The teachers were in different teacher-class relationships, and they had different career phases. They were selected using two criteria in a bid to diversify the sample. They considered the years of experience as well as the teachers' relationships with their classes. To ensure that the entire population was represented, there was an over-representation of the first quadrant in the sample.
The sample came from making calls to different local Dutch teacher magazines, making use of the networks of three secondary education teacher education programs, and through the distribution of flyers at development congresses for teachers (p.4). The sample was then selected using stratified random sampling (p.5). The participants in this study are similar to those who have participated in other reviews in that the teachers have both positive and negative relationships with some of their students.
Results and Discussion
The authors have related the results and discussion to the review of the literature. However, when conducting the empirical analysis, the authors did not mention the teachers' and students' behavior in and out of the classroom which is described in the results and discussion. From the results, it was clear that teachers have better relationships with their students if they relate with each other in and out of the classroom.
The findings relate to the hypothesis which targets to prove whether positive student-teacher interactions (based on agency and communion) cause positive perceptions to the teachers or not. From the results, it is evident that positive relationships between teachers and students had high levels of communion where the interactions were warm to each other, and there were jokes. The behavior was highly complimentary on the communion dimension. On the other hand, problematic relationships were seen to involve confrontation and persistent directing of the students.
The discussion provides closure to the initial hypothesis presented by the author by stating that positive relationships between teachers and their students are a source of motivation and enjoyment for the teachers. Conversely, problematic relationships cause negative emotions and stress.
The list of references is not current. Some references used are dated back to more than ten years ago such as the years 1985, 1992, 1994, and 1967. The referencing is in APA style 6th edition. The references are consistent since the in-text citations, as well as the bibliography, are both in the same format. The references are complete since they contain all the elements of a comprehensive reference such as the volume and issue numbers for the journals, the URL for online articles, the title of the article as well as the name of the journals, the years published, and the page numbers. The books used contain the publisher, the page numbers, the city of publishing, and the years of publishing. The reference list reflects some of the most crucial reference sources in the field mainly since most of them are peer-reviewed.
General Comments about the Report
The report is well-written and easy to understand, and it makes use of diagrams to illustrate different points further. The language used in the study is not biased. The study's strengths include; proper referencing and presentation of information. The weaknesses include; lack of appropriate outlining of the research objectives, hypotheses, and statement of the problem.
The primary implication of the research is that positive relationships between teachers and students arise when they interact positively one on one in and out of the classroom. The positive relationships then lead to job satisfaction and improved well-being for the teachers. To better the research, I would provide the research objectives, state the problem, and the hypotheses distinctly. Finally, this manuscript has conformed to the specifications of the editor since it is referenced in APA 6th edition style, the full names of the authors have been provided on the cover page as instructed by the editor, and the abstract is within the provided word range.
Luce C. A. Claessens, Jan van Tartwijk, Anna C. van der Want, Helena J.M. Pennings, Nico Verloop, Perry J. den Brok & Theo Wubbels (2017) Positive teacher-student relationships go beyond the classroom, problematic ones stay inside, The Journal of Educational Research, 110:5, 478-493, DOI: 10.1080/00220671.2015.1129595.
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