Roorda, D. L., Koomen, H. M. Y., Spilt, J. L., & Oort, F. J. (2011). The Influence of Affective Teacher–Student Relationships on Students’ School Engagement and Achievement: A Meta-Analytic Approach. Review of Educational Research, 81(4), 493–529.
Summarized by Maggie Bayly
Notes of Interest:
- Research has shown that affective teacher-student relationships (TSRs) influence students’ social function, such as behavioral problems, academic achievement, and engagement in learning activities.
- Literature suggests that the effectiveness of TSRs on learning could be influenced by specific characteristics of the students and teachers. These include socioeconomic status, age, gender, and more.
- This study analyzes the associations (both positive and negative) between a) TSRs & student engagement and b) TSRs & achievement.
- Results of this study provided additional evidence that TSRs influences student engagement and achievement in school.
- Medium to large positive associations was found between positive TSRs and both engagement & achievement. In comparison, small to medium negative associations were found between negative TSRs and both engagement & achievement.
- Though evidence proves that TSRs play an important role, they only contribute a little to improving a student’s learning behaviors. Other research found that structure, autonomy, and quality of instruction were also influencing engagement and achievement.
- Future research recommends considering the negative aspects of relationships, including conflict and distrust. It should also include several different ways of data collection, such as using student reports.
Introduction (Reprinted from the Abstract)
A meta-analytic approach was used to investigate the associations between affective qualities of teacher–student relationships (TSRs) and students’ school engagement and achievement. Results were based on 99 studies, including students from preschool to high school. Separate analyses were conducted for positive relationships and engagement (k = 61 studies, N = 88,417 students), negative relationships and engagement (k = 18, N = 5,847), positive relationships and achievement (k = 61, N = 52,718), and negative relationships and achievement (k = 28, N = 18,944). Overall, associations of both positive and negative relationships with engagement were medium to large, whereas associations with achievement were small to medium. Some of these associations were weaker, but still statistically significant, after correction for methodological biases. Overall, stronger effects were found in the higher grades. Nevertheless, the effects of negative relationships were stronger in primary than in secondary school.
Implications (Reprinted from the Discussion)
Recent meta-analyses have provided broad evidence of the impact of teacher behaviors on student outcomes (M. Allen et al., 2006; Cornelius-White, 2007; Wittet al., 2004). The present study aimed to generate more specific knowledge on this topic by focusing on subsets of both teacher behaviors and student outcomes. Different from previous meta-analyses, we concentrated on the affective dimension of relationships between teachers and individual children and also added negative TSRs. Students’ school engagement and achievement were chosen as outcome variables. Separate analyses were performed for positive and negative aspects of the TSR in relation to both engagement and achievement.
All analyses showed significant associations between the investigated variables, providing further support for the notion formulated in prior research literature and review studies that TSRs influence students’ school engagement and achievement (e.g., Bergin & Bergin, 2009; Davis, 2003; Hamre & Pianta, 2001; Pianta et al., 2003; Skinner & Belmont, 1993). As expected (e.g., Birch & Ladd, 1997; Ladd et al., 1999), the analyses revealed positive associations between positive TSRs and both engagement and achievement, and negative associations between negative relationships and both engagement and achievement.
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