The Australian Educational Researcher

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 77–91

The nature of pedagogic teacher-student interactions: A phenomenographic study

  • Denise Beutel

DOI: 10.1007/BF03216923

Cite this article as:
Beutel, D. Aust. Educ. Res. (2010) 37: 77. doi:10.1007/BF03216923


Globally, teaching has become more complex and more challenging over recent years, with new and increased demands being placed on teachers by students, their families, governments and wider society. Teachers work with more diverse communities in times characterised by volatility, uncertainty and moral ambiguity. Societal, political, economic and cultural shifts have transformed the contexts in which teachers work and have redefined the ways in which teachers interact with students. This qualitative study uses phenomenographic methods to explore the nature of pedagogic teacherstudent interactions. The data analysis reveals five qualitatively different ways in which teachers experience pedagogic engagements with students. The resultant categories of description ranged from information providing, with teachers viewed as transmitters of a body of knowledge through to mentoring in which teachers were perceived as significant others in the lives of students with their influence extending beyond the walls of the classroom and beyond the years of schooling. The paper concludes by arguing that if teachers are to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities in changing times, teacher education programs need to consider ways to facilitate the development of mentoring capacities in new teachers.

Copyright information

© Australian Association for Research in Education 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denise Beutel
    • 1
  1. 1.Queensland University of TechnologyAustralia