The usual approaches to classroom relationships are either teacher-centred or student-centred. This book breaks new ground in its exploration of relationship-centred classrooms.
In relationship-centred classrooms, the teacher and the student are equally important. That shifts the focus to the quality of their interaction and whether it is supporting or hindering teaching and learning.
The authors draw on a strong theoretical base as they tease out the principles and practices of relationship-centred classrooms. The relationship practices they describe are underpinned by:
- The importance of being recognised and validated as a person
- The importance of challenging ideas that exclude, oppress and disadvantage some people
Respectful classroom interactions and constructive responses to conflict can be achieved if teachers apply specific conversational moves and a theoretical framework that offers new perspectives on relationship problems.
The authors argue that in order to respond to the diversity of today’s classrooms and constantly shifting relationship dynamics, teachers need to be able to deal with uncertainty and have a clear understanding of power relationships. The authors show how change can be achieved when teachers challenge discourses: those hidden assumptions that influence the outcome of interactions.