Students' Views of Teacher-Student Relationships in the Primary School
Education and Arts
This study investigated teacher-student relationships from the students’ point of view at Perth metropolitan schools in Western Australia. The study identified three key social and emotional aspects that affect teacher-student relationships, namely, Connectedness, Availability and Communication Skills. Data were collected by questionnaire (N=139) with stem-items answered in two perspectives: (1) Actual: This is what does happen and (2) Idealistic: this is what I wish would happen, using four ordered response categories: not at all (score 1), some of the time (score 2), most of the time (score 3), and almost always (score 4). Data were analysed with a Rasch measurement model and a uni-dimensional, linear scale with 20 items (2 times 10 stem items), ordered from easy to hard, was created. The data were shown to be highly reliable, so that valid inferences could be made from the scale. The Person Separation Index (akin to a reliability index) was 0.90; there was good global student and item fit to the measurement model; there was good item fit; the targeting of the item difficulties against the student measures was good, and the response categories were answered consistently and logically. The difficulties of the items strongly supported the conceptualised structure of the variable. This study shows that research into teacher-student relationships is made possible using modern methods of measurement, and by considering primary students’ points of view.