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Social Support, Student Outcomes and Teaching Strategies

  • Bick-har Lam
Chapter

Abstract

Social support is a topic of study related to the link between psychological processes and health. Social support can be explained as the type of communication between support recipients and providers that reduces uncertainties, and enables relationships and functions that enhance support recipients’ perception of personal control in their life experience (Adelman & Albrecht in Communicating social support. Sage Publications, 1987). Teaching is an interactional process between learners and teachers in the school environment. Teachers, as more knowledgeable others, give support to students in order to master a certain amount of content knowledge of a discipline, which demonstrates their role as a nurturer (Lam in There is no fear in love: The giving of social support to students enhances teachers’ career development, 2017). In the classroom, student peers’ scaffoldings and social interaction involve learners in a community for friendship and academic learning, and the school as a whole creates an environment to foster learners’ social and academic development. Learning in school largely relies on different sources of social support. This chapter investigates the potential of social support in teaching and learning contexts. It attempts to explore teachers’ supportive behaviours and other support sources in the classroom environment and the corresponding outcomes on student learning, to draw implications from theory and practice in teaching. The current chapter seeks to accomplish the following:
  • Identify the theoretical reasons behind the link between social support and education, especially related to teaching and learning in the classroom;

  • Explore the support documented in the literature mainly related to teacher social support, and generally about other support sources;

  • Related to the above, what impact social support behaviours and practice from teachers and other support sources could have on students in terms of educational outcomes;

  • Identify exemplary teaching strategies that utilise social support;

  • Discuss implications from the above and further research directions.

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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Education University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong

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