In your early and primary schools, did your teachers offer you positive feedback that motivated you to study harder? As most unis start their Easter Break, here is a topic worth tackling: the effects of teacher encouragement on pupils. Recent Cambridge University research reveals that young students who motivational words from teachers tend to further their education. This unique study looks into long term teacher-student rapport and how encouragement impacts pupils.
Teacher Encouragement Study Results
Around 4,300 students in England were included in the research that lasted seven years. They belonged in the same school year from over 600 schools in England. They had to answer detailed questionnaires each year from 2003 to 2010. During Year 11, they were asked if a teacher had inspired them to further their education.
The impact of teacher encouragement on students has varying results depending on their backgrounds. It shows that when teachers offer words of confidence, pupils are more likely to continue their studies after the age of 16. It seems that the greatest difference was for students whose parents lacked higher education. An increase of 12 percentage points was seen in enrolment for students past 16 years old. Students whose parents had some qualifications without past compulsory education had an increase of 13 percentage points.
Teacher encouragement also has greater impact on students with average academic achievements. They are the group that often goes either way in terms of furthering their education. The effect lasts into higher education, showing an increase of 10 percentage points compared to those who didn’t receive encouragement. There is an increase of seven percentage points for students who enter university.
The study published in the Research in Higher Education shows the positive effects of social aspects of teacher-student interactions. Study author Dr. Ben Alcott said: “teachers themselves and the relationships they develop with students are real engines for social mobility.”
Indeed, the role of teachers is not only about managing the class and delivering the course. Educators should be able to provide positive school experiences to their students to encourage them to reach their fullest potentials.
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