Teachers' Views of Teacher-Student Relationships in the Primary School

Document Type

Conference Proceeding




Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Education




Leitao, N. C., & Waugh, R. F. (2008). Teachers' views of teacher-student relationships in the primary school. Proceedings of 2007 AARE International Education Research Conference. Fremantle, Western Australia. AARE. Available here


This study investigated teacher-student relationships from the teachers’ 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 three perspectives: (1) Idealistic: this is what I would like to happen; (2) Capability: this is what I am capable of; and (3) Actual: this is what actually happens, 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 unidimensional, linear scale with 24 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 0.93; there was good global teacher and item fit to the measurement model; there was good item fit; the targeting of the item difficulties against the teacher measures was good, and the response categories were answered consistently and logically. The difficulties of the items supported the conceptual structure of the variable.

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