The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between urban middle school students' perceptions of the support provided by their teachers, and student engagement, behavior, and academic success. A student self-report instrument that focused on the alterable aspects of the relationship between teachers and their adolescent students was administered to 102 middle school students and 15 teachers at an urban charter school in a large Midwestern city. The survey measured student perceptions of teacher support for competence, autonomy, and relatedness; teacher mastery goal orientation; teacher academic press; and self-reported engagement. Teacher-reported student engagement was also measured. Student outcome measures in the areas of academics and behavior were measured at the end of the school year, and student demographic variables were collected. Factor analysis revealed that two factors, Teacher Caring and Support and Teacher Press for Academic Thought were found to be the best fit for the student survey data. Both of these factors were significantly correlated with student- and teacher-ratings of student engagement. Teacher Press for Academic Thought was found to be a significant predictor of students' assignment to enrichment detention as well as students' reading test scores. Teacher-Rated Engagement was found to mediate the effect of Teacher Caring and Support on Enrichment Detention, the effect of Teacher Press for Academic Thought on Enrichment Detention, and the effect of Teacher Press for Academic Thought on reading test scores. Student-rated engagement was not found to mediate the effect of the independent variables on any of the student outcome variables. Limitations and implications for research and practice are discussed.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2014. Major: Educational Psychology. Advisor: Sandra L. Christenson. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 96 pages, appendices A-B.
Berman-Young, Sarah B..
Teacher-student relationships: examining student perceptions of teacher support and positive student outcomes.
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