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Relational Strategies to Engage Boys The Need for Reflective Practice

July 21, 2015

Article – Relational Strategies to Engage Boys

Yesterday I read an article that got me thinking about how important relationships are when it comes to reaching students and teaching them new content and skills.  I have always believed that “it’s all about relationships” when in come to student achievement, and this article gives methods to improve rapport between teachers and students.  Here’s my favorite part:

The learning relationship is better understood as an example of a working alliance, in which teachers serve as agents of change, students as those seeking to grow, and mastery of the subject or skills as the objective of both. A distinct set of responsibilities falls to each role in the alliance. While students absorb themselves in efforts to assimilate new information, skills, and perspectives while confronting their limitations, teachers – the guiding professionals – must serve as relationship managers. Students are too preoccupied and too vulnerable to keep perspective on the relationship itself in this framework. Daniel Rogers, associate professor of psychology at Kennesaw State University, assigned these unique responsibilities to the relationship manager: (1) the expert facilitating the student’s learning, (2) the one to maintain an overall awareness of the alliance, and (3) the one to monitor and mend strains in the alliance. 5



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  1. Endre Polyak permalink


  2. stephanie permalink

    Students are more likely to learn when they are comfortable taking risks (questioning an article or viewpoint in front of their peers, for example). As teachers, we have to set up the environment so every student is willing to put themselves out there to take those risks. In other words, I definitely agree that relationships are crucial to learning – for students and adults!

  3. DQ, Thanks for sharing this thoughtful piece. I think the article you quote offers a good reminder of the many roles the teacher plays in the student-teacher relationship. It also reminded me of that old adage that we should be “the guide on the side, not the sage the stage.” Keep ’em coming. Always appreciate your posts.

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