Student Engagement and Rapport in Higher Education: The Case for Relationship-Centred Pedagogies
- 870 Downloads
Literature relating to student satisfaction with university teaching has increasingly drawn attention to the impact of positive staff-student relationships on how students rate the overall quality of their learning experience. These positive relationships are characterised, we argue, not by excessive friendliness or “dumbed-down” courses, but rather by an academic’s social presence, opportunities for enjoyable interactions and a respectful connection between staff and students and amongst students themselves; a combination which can be described with the overarching term, rapport. This chapter outlines the design and conduct of a research project which explored the ways rapport could be developed in diverse learning environments. We provide a review of how this focus shaped an approach to educational innovation and the benefits that followed for students and for staff.
KeywordsHigher education pedagogy Educational rapport Student engagement Student satisfaction Collegial conversations Relationship-centred pedagogy Teacher education
- Centre for Courage and Renewal. (2015). Circle of trust touchstones Retrieved from http://www.couragerenewal.org/touchstones/.
- Griffith University. (2014). Griffith grants for learning and teaching: Strategic priority scheme guidelines. Gold Coast: Griffith University.Google Scholar
- hooks, bell. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- hooks, bell. (2003). Teaching community: A pedagogy of hope. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Johnsen, H.L., Pacht, M., Van Slyck, P., & Tsao, T.M. (2009). The messy teaching conversation: Toward a model of collegial reflection, exchange, and scholarship on classroom problems. Teaching English in the Two-Year College, 37(2), 119–136.Google Scholar
- Jones, G. (2006). “I wish to register a complaint”: The growing complaints culture in higher education. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, 10(3), 69–73. doi:10.1080/13603100600816567.Google Scholar
- Larkin, K., Rowan, L., Garrick, B., & Beavis, C. (2016). Student perspectives on first year experience initiatives designed for pre-service teachers in their first weeks of university study. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 13(1), 1–14.Google Scholar
- Lizzio, A. (2006). Designing an orientation and transition strategy for commencing students: A conceptual summary of research and practice. Gold Coast: Griffith University.Google Scholar
- McGrath, C., & Rowan, L. (2012). Things that matter: Student engagement and technologies in knowledge-producing schools. In L. Rowan & C. Bigum (Eds.), Transformative approaches to new technologies and student diversity in futures oriented classrooms (pp. 67–84). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Nelson, K., Kift, S., & Clarke, J. (2012). A transition pedagogy for student engagement and first-year learning, success and retention. In I. Solomonides, A. Reid, & P. Petocz (Eds.), Engaging with learning in higher education (pp. 117–144). Oxfordshire: Libri Publishing.Google Scholar
- Palmer, P. (1997). The heart of a teacher: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Palmer, P. (1998). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Palmer, P. (2007). The heart of a teacher: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Palmer, P., Zajonc, A., & Scribner, M. (2010). The heart of higher education: A call to renewal. Transferring the academy through collegial conversations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Rowan, L. (2012). Educated hope, modest ambition and school-based equity reforms: Possibilities and perspectives for change. In L. Rowan & C. Bigum (Eds.), Transformative approaches to new technologies and student diversity in futures oriented classrooms (pp. 45–63). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rowan, L. (2013). What price success? The impact of the quest for student satisfaction on university academics. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 8(2), 132–146.Google Scholar
- Rowan, L., & Bigum, C. (2001). Of heaven and hell. In R. Walker & D. Murphy (Eds.), Case studies of teaching with technology (pp. 91–98). London: Kogan Page.Google Scholar
- Ryan, S. (2012). Academic zombies: A failure of resistance or a means of survival? Australian Universities’ Review, 54(2), 3–11.Google Scholar
- Wesch, M. (2009). From knowledgeable to knowledge-able: Learning in new media environments. Retrieved from http://www.academiccommons.org/2009/01/from-knowledgable-to-knowledge-able/.
- Wright, R., Jones, G., & D’Alba, A. (2013). Person over pedagogy: Rapport-building traits of online instructors. In T. Bastiaens & G. Marks (Eds.), Proceedings of E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2013 (pp. 1603–1612). Chesapeake: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).Google Scholar