Classroom relationships

The influence of classroom environments on teachers and children has been a research topic for many years. For a classic study on `socio-emotional climate’ and a description of how an adult’s leadership style can affect the behaviour of a group, see:

The ‘emotional side of teaching and learning’, the need to build and sustain warm relationships between teachers and learners and the `art' of maintaining relationships while teaching is described by:

For practical ways in which fostering caring relationships and the development of a positive classroom culture can promote learning, see:

The influential work of Carl Rogers provides important insights on relationships for learning. He suggests that three basic qualities are required if a warm, `person centred' relationship is to be established acceptance, genuineness and empathy. Good relationships are, according to Rogers, founded on understanding and on `giving'. For an introduction to his work and an exploration of the ways in which good quality relationships can help to facilitate learning, see:

For an examination of the emotional factors that enter into the process of teaching and learning and insights into the nature of pupil-teacher relationships, see:

A more general overview of research on classroom relationships is provided by:

For background information and a framework for understanding child protection issues, see:

It is now recognised by many that successful learners need to be active participants in learning relationships with others. For a development of this view supported by examples of classroom practice, see:

For fascinating studies in which collaborative learning methods were developed so that relationships became the basis for learning, see:

There is now a wealth of material about childhood identities and peer relationships in childhood and adolescence. For an overview of the nature and significance of children's peer relationships and an examination of the context of children's relationships, see:

For a book which offers teachers a wide variety of possible strategies that should enable groups and individuals to have better relationships with each other, see:

For a further discussion of peer relationships and the way in which they can support learning, see:

Teaching can only be regarded as successful if the learners are learning. Generally speaking, for this to be achieved the learners have to be involved in the process of learning and they have to appreciate that the effort which is required of them is worthwhile. For insights into children’s perspectives on teacher-pupil relationships, see:

An appreciation of the processes in social interaction and relationships which influence emotional growth and learning is important for work with all children, and especially those who are troubled. For a theoretical and practical resource that helps adults to explore the nature of their own participation in facilitating emotional growth and learning see:

The connection between family relationships and individual development are discussed in:

There are a lot of books on the relationships between homes, schools and children's learning. Some exceptional ones are listed below. The first provides a rare portrait of a group of working-class families whose four year old children start school in the same year. It analyses the ways in which parents, children and teachers strive to cross cultural and linguistic boundaries to come to a common understanding of school.

The following are rapidly becoming classics,

For children's perceptions of adult-child relationships in their home, neighbourhood and school, see:

For insights into the views of children who are disaffected or troubled in school, see:

For an introduction to educational therapy and a therapeutic perspective on children’s relationships with parents, siblings, teachers and peers, see:

For a discussion of 'learning relationships' and issues related to identity and learning aimed specifically at teaching assistants and support staff, see: