The Effects of Teacher-Student Relationships: Aligned with attachment theory Ainsworth, ; Bowlby,positive teacher-student relationships enable students to feel safe and secure in their learning environments and provide scaffolding for important social and academic skills Baker et al. Teachers who support students in the learning environment can positively impact their social and academic outcomes, which is important for the long-term trajectory of school and eventually employment Baker et al. However, little is known about the effects of teacher-student relationships on high school students.
An increasing body of evidence documents the robust relationship between adverse experiences in early childhood and a host of complications, both medical and psychological, that manifest throughout childhood and later in adult life.
The Adverse Childhood Events Studies have demonstrated that child abuse, neglect, and other circumstances that disrupt the parent-child relationship are significantly associated with many leading causes of adult death, such as stroke, cancer, and heart disease, and with heavy health service utilization.
These disparate consequences, including depression and suicide, hypertension and diabetes, cigarette smoking, alcohol and other substance abuse, and fractured bones, bear compelling testimony to the vulnerability of children to stressful experience.
In the office, clinicians deal daily with children who are suffering the effects of trauma, including separation and loss, physical and sexual abuse, parental neglect, and witnessing violence.
Many of these children, especially those for whom the stress is particularly severe, chronic, or pervasive, will have difficulty overcoming their persistent physiological and psychological responses to their earlier stress.
Lingering symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD or disrupted attachment can present as difficulties with sleep, anxiety, oppositional behavior, violent behaviors, and school failure. The primary health care professional holds the first, perhaps most critical link for caregivers and children: Pediatricians can help caregivers understand that there are healthy strategies and interventions that can help children reduce these excessive responses to environmental stress and assist children in resuming a normal developmental trajectory.
These are classic symptoms that arise from experiencing a single traumatic life event. Such severe stress reactions are particularly common after incidents of interpersonal violence such as domestic violence, child abuse, and terrorism. In cases of child abuse or neglect or other exposure to violence, in which the stresses are often prolonged and unavoidable, long-term stress reactions are common and can be especially devastating.
In patients suffering from the aftereffects of significant early stress, the offending stimulus, sometimes minor, seems to echo the previous abuse and to produce an equivalent, dramatic emotional reaction that is often inappropriate to the provocation.
Stimuli that produce such reactions are known as traumatic reminders and may take many forms. Reaction to an old trauma may be brought forth by a smell, sound, or other sensory input or may be triggered by an action, place, or date. In this reaction, the brain is engaging in what seems to be an exaggerated form of pattern recognition, a common form of learning in which similar patterns of stimuli call forth a similar neuroendocrine and, thus, behavioral response.
When disordered stress responses persist long after the trauma, the condition is termed PTSD. These may be summarized as: Abuse victims have demonstrated abnormalities of the HPA response. Indeed, complex traumatic stress suffered early in life may be thought of as having both behavioral and developmental consequences.
They need to learn that their child is dealing with a physiological response unfamiliar to them and to learn new and more effective ways of responding themselves.
Although love and consistency are essential, they are not always enough. It is hardly remarkable that the seeds of adult dysfunction are sown in early childhood stress. We have long known, for example, of the lifelong effects of early malnutrition or of exposures to toxins such as lead or alcohol.
These adaptations, although initially useful, have not prepared the child for existence in the larger, more normal world outside the home. The past 2 decades have seen remarkable progress in the understanding of neurodevelopment. Nowhere is this development more dramatic than in the first 3 years of life as the young brain undergoes sweeping structural change as it senses and adapts to the environment in which it finds itself.
Neurons develop myelin sheaths and proliferate, developing myriad connections with others throughout the cranium.
With experience, some are strengthened, developing more connections with other neurons. Significant apoptosis is seen as early as 4 years of age, continuing until the typical adult brain has lost nearly half of the neuronal connections it possessed at age 3.
It is now understood that this pruning is experience dependent—use strengthens neural pathways, and idleness marks others for demolition.
Use and disuse of specific pathways alter the neuronal structure through a variety of mechanisms, including changes in sensitivity and the number of synaptic connections.
These changes act to adapt the brain structurally to its environment. It is, in other words, learning.
A more visually complex environment, for example, may favor a larger visual cortex, whereas a child born blind might devote more cortical area to hearing. Similarly, a brain grown in a more threatening world may benefit from a highly developed fight-or-flight response, with appropriate modifications to the limbic system and HPA.
The hippocampus, a cortical region essential to the proper encoding and retrieval of memory, is similarly affected. This, in itself, would not be an insurmountable problem. However, children raised in abusive, violent, or neglectful homes are often denied the very tools that would help them adapt to new and different surroundings.
Abused or neglected children often suffer impairments in their language abilities and cognitive skills. One of the most important tasks of early childhood is learning to discriminate states of affect.
The brain is most easily altered, or adapted, early in its life. Although such responses from adults usually gain the desired result in normal children, they become problematic when the listener is hypervigilant for threats and has difficulty controlling his or her own emotions.
To a child who is physiologically adapted to a high-threat environment, a minor slight or stern admonition can sound like the prelude to real danger.Contents Effective Pre-school and Primary Education Project (EPPE ) Final Report from the Primary Phase: Pre-school, School and Family Influences on.
Journal of Social Science Education Volume 17, Number 1, Spring ISSN – 30 that classroom processes matter. Early Education and Development Volume 28, point to links between a range of children’s positive and negative interactions during typical instruction and teachers’ relationship perceptions.
Relationship influences on teachers’ perceptions of academic competence in academically at-risk minority and majority first grade students. [Print Version] October – Student and Faculty Perceptions of the Quality of Online Learning Experiences.
Michael E. Ward, Gary Peters, and Kyna Shelley The University of Southern Mississippi. Keeping Quality Teachers The Art of Retaining General and Special Education Teachers Making the Case for Teacher Retention.
teachers’ perceptions of school environment factors, and to determine whether gender was a differentiating factor. Teaching efficacy Teachers’ teaching efficacy refers to teachers’ beliefs about their capabilities in carrying out a particular task.