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Title: Restoring relationships : an investigation into the effect that behaviour approaches have on teacher-student relationships
Author: Mills, Frances Karen
ISNI:       0000 0004 5919 4372
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2015
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A substantial research base indicates that the relationships between teachers and students significantly affect outcomes for children including emotional wellbeing, academic achievement and behaviour. As a trainee educational psychologist (EP) working in schools I have observed that some discipline procedures appear to be at odds with the development and maintenance of positive teacher-student relationships. Chapter 1: The Systematic Review - A systematic review of the literature examined the effect of disciplinary actions on students’ perceptions of their teachers, and the teacher-student relationship. Six articles fulfilled the inclusion and exclusion criteria. These tended to be large scale data from international sources using questionnaire and observation measures. The systematic review identified that behaviourist discipline procedures were associated with various negative measures of teacher-student relationships. Chapter 2 : Bridging Document - The bridging document reflected the transition between the findings of the systematic review and the empirical study. Discussion was had around the need for research in the area of teacher-student relationships and teachers’ responses to student behaviour. The conceptual framework that underlined my research was described, including reflections of my axiology, ontology, epistemology and methodology. Chapter 3 : The Empirical Research - A mixed-methods case study investigated the consequence-based behaviour system of a primary school which centred upon missing playtime to dissuade unwanted behaviours. The introduction of a restorative conversation, inspired by the restorative justice movement, was explored as an alternative approach to addressing behaviour. This approach aimed to maintain or even promote teacher-student relationships. As a piece of action research, this project brought together a wide variety of information gathering approaches including: examining school data and policies, staff interviews, observations, and questionnaire measures of two interpersonal teacher behaviour factors of ‘influence’ (management / leadership) and ‘proximity’ (warmth / closeness). The research recognised that when experiencing the school’s traditional approach to behaviour students may have perceived less emotional warmth and leadership from their teachers. Nevertheless, a restorative conversation had a positive effect upon teacher-student 5 | P a g e relationships, and in doing so may have enabled better outcomes for children who have demonstrated unwanted behaviours. This research has appreciated the practice of teachers in this primary school and has contributed to the development of a behaviour approach that promotes teacher-student relationships. My contribution to the changes in this primary school indicates the role that EPs may play in addressing school policy and practice. This research concludes with a plea to establish the restoration of relationships as the primary focus of behaviour approaches within schools.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.App.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available