Student–teacher interaction, both in and out of the classroom, is influenced strongly by the teaching perspective embraced by the teacher. Within the instructional communication discipline, teaching can be viewed from two perspectives: the rhetorical perspective and the relational perspective . Teachers whose student–teacher interaction is governed by the rhetorical perspective communicate with their students as a means to influence or persuade them. Communication is teacher-centered, which means that teachers send a message to students who play a passive role as the recipient of the message. To communicate effectively with their students, teachers focus on teaching clearly, making course content relevant, and acting in an assertive manner (Teacher Clarity ). In essence, their in-class communication behaviors center on performing their classroom functions as lecturer and discussion leader and managing the classroom. Conversely, teachers whose student–teacher interaction is governed by the relational perspective communicate with their students as a means of developing a relationship. Communication is mutually created and shared between students and teachers, with an emphasis on the role of shared emotions and feelings used by students and teachers to respond both affectively and effectively to each other.
Following definitions will really help:
Emotional support refers to the ways teachers help children develop warm, supportive relationships, experience enjoyment and excitement about learning, feel comfortable in the classroom, and experience appropriate levels of autonomy or independence. This includes:
- Positive climate — the enjoyment and emotional connection that teachers have with students, as well as the nature of peer interactions;
- Negative climate — the level of expressed negativity such as anger, hostility or aggression exhibited by teachers and/or students in the classroom;
- Teacher sensitivity — teachers’ responsiveness to students’ academic and emotional needs; and
- Regard for student perspectives — the degree to which teachers’ interactions with students and classroom activities place an emphasis on students’ interests, motivations, and points of view.
Classroom organization refers to the ways teachers help children develop skills to regulate their own behavior, get the most learning out of each school day, and maintain interest in learning activities. This includes:
- Behavior management — how well teachers monitor, prevent, and redirect misbehavior;
- Productivity — how well the classroom runs with respect to routines, how well students understand the routine, and the degree to which teachers provide activities and directions so that maximum time can be spent in learning activities; and
- Instructional learning formats — how teachers engage students in activities and facilitate activities so that learning opportunities are maximized.
Instructional support refers to the ways in which teachers effectively support students’ cognitive development and language growth. This includes:
- Concept development — how teachers use instructional discussions and activities to promote students’ higher-order thinking skills and cognition in contrast to a focus on rote instruction;
- Quality of feedback — how teachers expand participation and learning through feedback to students; and
- Language modeling — the extent to which teachers stimulate, facilitate, and encourage students’ language use.