Student emotions in class: The relative importance of teachers and their interpersonal relations with students

Tim Mainhard*, Sophie Oudman, Lisette Hornstra, Roe J. Bosker, Thomas Goetz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study highlights the importance of teachers in relation to the emotions students experience in class. First, in line with the work of Kenny, we argue that the specific relationship that evolves between teachers and students drives students' emotional experiences. We decompose variability in student emotions not only into the commonly investigated student and teacher facets but also into facets representing specific pairings of teachers with classes and students (so-called relationship effects). Second, using interpersonal theory, we assess the degree to which the interpersonal quality of teaching accounts for variability in student emotions. Cross-classified multilevel modelling of 8042 student ratings (N = 1668 secondary school students, M-age = 14.94) of 91 teachers indicated that a considerable amount of variability that is usually assigned to the student level may be due to relationship effects involving teachers. Furthermore, the way that teachers interpersonally relate to their students is highly predictive of student emotions. In sum, teachers may be even more important for student emotions than previous research has indicated. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
JournalLearning and Instruction
Volume53
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2018

Keywords

  • Student emotions
  • Interpersonal theory
  • Enjoyment
  • Anxiety
  • Cross-classified multilevel analysis
  • DOMAIN SPECIFICITY
  • ACADEMIC EMOTIONS
  • ACHIEVEMENT EMOTIONS
  • SOCIAL-RELATIONS
  • SCHOOL SUBJECTS
  • MOTIVATION
  • MODEL
  • MATHEMATICS
  • INSTRUCTION
  • PERSPECTIVE

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