International Research Handbook on Values Education and Student Wellbeing

pp 239-260


Teacher Practice and Students’ Sense of Belonging

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The purpose of this chapter is to examine recent research (published and unpublished) that expands our understanding of the significant role that the sense of belonging plays in learning, with a focus on aspects of teacher practice that either enhance or detract from students’ experience. Specifically, this research provides evidence that students perceived as “problematic” are less likely to experience belongingness and more likely to experience isolation or rejection by teachers and peers. These experiences, in turn, contribute to anger, directed toward self and others, further aggravating the problem. At the same time, other research illustrates that attention to students’ academic needs, as well as their personal needs and the utilization of effective teacher practices, enhances the sense of belonging and engagement in the classroom.