Most of us would readily agree that professor-student rapport in the classroom affects student learning. What is more difficult is determining how to establish and sustain this rapport between teachers and students.
March’s resource of the month offers some guidance in this area. In the article, Making Connections: Student-Teacher Rapport in Higher Education Classrooms, researcher Roehl Sybing uses ethnography to examine how a teacher establishes rapport and facilitates understanding with first- and second-year undergraduate students. He considers the impact of differing personal backgrounds and circumstances as well as growing class sizes and concludes that through rapport, professors can validate student knowledge and participation while mitigating identity differences between teacher and student.
Author Roehl Sybing is a Language, Literacy & Culture doctoral candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His work is published in the December 2019 issue of the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Founded in 2001, the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (JoSoTL) is published by Indiana University’s Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching. The journal seeks to “address contemporary issues bridging teaching and learning in higher education, philosophical approaches to teaching, current research, and praxis.”
Interested in learning more about the scholarship of teaching and learning or accessing more of these resources? Belmont and Bunch Library offer the SoTL Resources at Bunch Library that provides information on SoTL professional organizations, research journals, conferences, etc.
The purpose of the Resource of the Month is twofold:
1) To encourage the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) by providing examples of high-quality research.
2) To provide faculty with innovative ideas that promote effective pedagogy.