On growing closer versus becoming more distant in the teacher–pupil relationship

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Renata Matusu


Many studies on classroom aspects related to teaching suggest that the classroom climate, and especially the teacher–student relationship, can greatly determine the quality of teaching in many ways. This study is focused on the narrower perspective of the teacher–pupil relationship, namely the concept known as teacher immediacy. The text starts with an overview of current knowledge about immediacy and the issue of teacher misbehaviour at State schools of compulsory education, which are directly involved in shaping the classroom climate. Subsequently, the results of a study aimed at detecting behaviour that reduces perceived closeness are presented. Narrative interviews were conducted with several former pupils of compulsory school attendance. The data obtained from the interviews were analysed and various modes of teacher’s behaviour that violated the trust or sympathy in the teacher–pupil relationship were identified. They include verbal and non-verbal forms of suspicion, underestimation of pupils’ abilities, reduced interest in the pupil or teaching, hostility of the teacher and others. The context of trust and the perceived closeness of the pupil to the teacher are discussed as well as other forms of non-immediacy and teacher misbehaviour from a neutral perspective.

Keywords: Misbehaviour, pupil, relationship, school classroom, teacher immediacy.


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Matusu, R. (2019). On growing closer versus becoming more distant in the teacher–pupil relationship. New Trends and Issues Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences, 6(7), 205-215. https://doi.org/10.18844/prosoc.v6i7.4529