Expert Teachers’ Social Support Behaviours—A Humanised Classroom Characterised by Productive Learning

  • Bick-har LAMEmail author


The discussion of social support sources for students in educational settings in Chap.  4 recommends the need for understanding teachers’ classroom behaviours. This chapter continues to explore teachers’ social support behaviours by expert teachers at the classroom level. Since expert teachers are often suggested as effective teachers who can benefit students in both the cognitive and affective aspects, and their teaching is found to be characterised by relationship qualities and teacher attitudinal qualities, they are a relevant target for study in order to identify social support behaviours. The chapter seeks to accomplish the following purposes:
  • To identify social support behaviours of the four expert teachers in classroom teaching and conceptualise the expertise these behaviour features

  • To identify the motivation for learning of students who study in the classes taught by the four teachers

  • To make implications and suggestions regarding theory and practice in learning and teaching.

This chapter reports on a qualitative study based on classroom observations and interviews of 4 teachers regarding their teaching, and a questionnaire survey on a total of 144 junior form students on their motivation for learning, in a secondary school in Hong Kong. The analysis of teachers’ instructional behaviour shows a particular style of teaching among the four teachers. In delivering the lessons, the teachers engaged students into a series of dialogic discourse which engaged students in metacognitive learning. Such dialogic discourse led students to take part in exchanging views in the classroom which was safe, encouraging and challenging. Students were highly motivated under the four teachers’ guidance and instruction. The findings of the study resulted in a ‘triad of teaching expertise’ as a theoretical framework that conceptualises teachers’ teaching expertise. This triad includes teacher commitment, communication skills and metacognitive teaching skills. The study argues that teachers’ genuine care is an underlying trait which is significant in producing outstanding teaching, as teachers’ care prompts them to render meticulous support in guiding students through the learning process, which results in better learning outcomes for students. Recommendations for teacher education and training, and school leadership to promote high-quality teaching are made. Limitations of the study and future research directions are discussed.


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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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