University of Twente Student Theses


Student-Teacher Relationships: How do Students Experience the Emotions Their Teachers Display in Class?

Seliger, L. (2023) Student-Teacher Relationships: How do Students Experience the Emotions Their Teachers Display in Class?

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Abstract:Emotions are a substantial part of education, and the way teachers express their emotions is highly linked to academic success of their students. Additionally, the emotions of teachers affect the relationship with their students. The relationships students have with their teachers, however, can have a significant impact on their well-being. However, since the Covid 19 pandemic low levels of student well-being have been repeatedly measured. Thus, the present study investigated how students experience the emotions their teachers display. It is also investigated which emotions students would preferably see from their teachers, and which emotions students would not like to see from their teachers. A qualitative study design was chosen for this study. Bachelor students from the University of Twente (N = 18) took part in a semi-structured interview in which questions about their experiences with teachers’ emotions were asked. The data of the 18 participants was analysed using an inductive, thematic coding approach. Participants described teachers who openly display emotions in class as more approachable and generally more relatable. However, there were also participants who indicated to prefer to see as little emotion as possible in their teachers, as they consider the relationship between students and teachers to be hierarchical. The emotion most students indicated as preferable was happiness, often mentioned together with general enthusiasm of the teacher do teach classes. However, most participants mentioned that a teacher who is always happy makes it hard to relate, as it makes them perceive the teacher as less authentic. Whilst some students indicated that they would not like their teachers to display any kind of frustration or anger in class, others mentioned that it makes it easier to feel comfortable around a teacher who shows some frustration when things do not work out as planned, as the students then feel more understood when they also struggle with tasks. This research gives valuable insights into students’ experiences with teachers’ emotions and their effect on student-teacher relationships. Additionally, teachers can use the findings of this study to be more aware about how students experience their emotions. Through use of these findings, positive contributions to students’ academic success and well-being can be made.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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