Attributions and emotional competence: why some teachers experience close relationships with disruptive students (and others don’t)

Kevin F. McGrath, Penelope Van Bergen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Disruptive student behaviour is a major concern for teachers, causing classroom conflict and emotional fatigue. Whilst student-teacher closeness is known to reduce student aggression and improve behaviour, it is not yet known why some teachers experience close relationships with disruptive students and others do not. This qualitative study therefore examined relational closeness between elementary teachers and disruptive students in Sydney, Australia. Using a teacher speech sample task, we identified eight disruptive students with ‘complicated’ student-teacher relationships: high in both closeness and conflict. Eleven classroom teachers and seven support teachers each spoke about their relationships with the eight students. Speech samples were analysed using an inductive content analysis to determine characteristics that may facilitate relational closeness in spite of student-teacher conflict. Findings revealed two characteristics of teachers’ speech that guided relational closeness: attributions for disruptive behaviour and emotional competence. Not all teachers, however, described a close relationship. These findings provide new directions for interventions that aim to improve student-teacher relationship quality.
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalTeachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice
Early online date22 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jan 2019

Fingerprint

attribution
teacher
student teacher
experience
student
classroom
Emotion
Attribution
fatigue
aggression
content analysis
Closeness

Cite this

@article{8c379cc74d08483ab6f3ad768b5ae02c,
title = "Attributions and emotional competence: why some teachers experience close relationships with disruptive students (and others don’t)",
abstract = "Disruptive student behaviour is a major concern for teachers, causing classroom conflict and emotional fatigue. Whilst student-teacher closeness is known to reduce student aggression and improve behaviour, it is not yet known why some teachers experience close relationships with disruptive students and others do not. This qualitative study therefore examined relational closeness between elementary teachers and disruptive students in Sydney, Australia. Using a teacher speech sample task, we identified eight disruptive students with ‘complicated’ student-teacher relationships: high in both closeness and conflict. Eleven classroom teachers and seven support teachers each spoke about their relationships with the eight students. Speech samples were analysed using an inductive content analysis to determine characteristics that may facilitate relational closeness in spite of student-teacher conflict. Findings revealed two characteristics of teachers’ speech that guided relational closeness: attributions for disruptive behaviour and emotional competence. Not all teachers, however, described a close relationship. These findings provide new directions for interventions that aim to improve student-teacher relationship quality.",
keywords = "student-teacher relationships, disruptive behaviour, closeness, emotional competence, attributions, five-minute speech sample",
author = "McGrath, {Kevin F.} and {Van Bergen}, Penelope",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "22",
doi = "10.1080/13540602.2019.1569511",
language = "English",
journal = "Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice",
issn = "1354-0602",
publisher = "Taylor & Francis",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Attributions and emotional competence

T2 - Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice

AU - McGrath,Kevin F.

AU - Van Bergen,Penelope

PY - 2019/1/22

Y1 - 2019/1/22

N2 - Disruptive student behaviour is a major concern for teachers, causing classroom conflict and emotional fatigue. Whilst student-teacher closeness is known to reduce student aggression and improve behaviour, it is not yet known why some teachers experience close relationships with disruptive students and others do not. This qualitative study therefore examined relational closeness between elementary teachers and disruptive students in Sydney, Australia. Using a teacher speech sample task, we identified eight disruptive students with ‘complicated’ student-teacher relationships: high in both closeness and conflict. Eleven classroom teachers and seven support teachers each spoke about their relationships with the eight students. Speech samples were analysed using an inductive content analysis to determine characteristics that may facilitate relational closeness in spite of student-teacher conflict. Findings revealed two characteristics of teachers’ speech that guided relational closeness: attributions for disruptive behaviour and emotional competence. Not all teachers, however, described a close relationship. These findings provide new directions for interventions that aim to improve student-teacher relationship quality.

AB - Disruptive student behaviour is a major concern for teachers, causing classroom conflict and emotional fatigue. Whilst student-teacher closeness is known to reduce student aggression and improve behaviour, it is not yet known why some teachers experience close relationships with disruptive students and others do not. This qualitative study therefore examined relational closeness between elementary teachers and disruptive students in Sydney, Australia. Using a teacher speech sample task, we identified eight disruptive students with ‘complicated’ student-teacher relationships: high in both closeness and conflict. Eleven classroom teachers and seven support teachers each spoke about their relationships with the eight students. Speech samples were analysed using an inductive content analysis to determine characteristics that may facilitate relational closeness in spite of student-teacher conflict. Findings revealed two characteristics of teachers’ speech that guided relational closeness: attributions for disruptive behaviour and emotional competence. Not all teachers, however, described a close relationship. These findings provide new directions for interventions that aim to improve student-teacher relationship quality.

KW - student-teacher relationships

KW - disruptive behaviour

KW - closeness

KW - emotional competence

KW - attributions

KW - five-minute speech sample

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85060658008&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/13540602.2019.1569511

DO - 10.1080/13540602.2019.1569511

M3 - Article

JO - Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice

JF - Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice

SN - 1354-0602

ER -