Enhancing Relationships Between Children and Teachers

Pages: 207
Item #: 431658A
ISBN: 978-1-55798-765-5
List Price: $24.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $19.95
Copyright: 1999
Format: Softcover
Availability: In Stock
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Teaching children involves more than knowing your subject and being able to maintain control of a class. Every child that comes into the classroom is unique. All have different home environments, ethnic backgrounds, abilities, and learning styles. And every child develops a different relationship with the teacher. Enhancing Relationships Between Children and Teachers focuses on the complexity of the child-teacher relationship and how school psychologists and counselors can help teachers to understand the myriad factors involved in their classroom relationships.

Pianta uses systems theory to discuss the multiple factors in child-teacher relationships and integrates school, clinical, and developmental psychology. The book is organized according to the ever-expanding circle of systems discussed: from the individual child's personality as a "system" to the individual child-teacher relationship, multiple relationships in the classroom, and finally school policy's influence on the child-teacher relationship. Clear, informative text and rich case examples show how to apply this approach for improving child-teacher relationships in any classroom situation and make this an invaluable read for all helping professionals working with children.

Table of Contents



  1. Why Supportive Relationships Are Essential
  2. How the Parts Affect the Whole: Systems Theory in Classroom Relationships
  3. The Child as a Developing System
  4. The Emotional Bond Between Children and Adults
  5. Assessing Child–Teacher Relationships
  6. Examples From Life
  7. Supporting Teachers: The Key to Affecting Child–Teacher Relationships
  8. Enhancing Relationships Across the Classroom
  9. How School Policy Affects the Child–Teacher Relationship
  10. Strong Relationships Mean More Resources: An Agenda for Practice and Research



About the Author

Author Bio

Robert C. Pianta, PhD, is a professor in the Curry School of Education's Programs in Clinical and School Psychology at the University of Virginia. A former special education teacher, he is a developmental, school, and clinical child psychologist who enjoys integrating these multiple perspectives on children in his work. In addition to his work on relationships between teachers and children, Pianta studies parent-child relationships. He is interested in the role of a range of social contexts in the development of children and particularly the role that social contexts play in the production and reduction of risk for poor development outcomes.

Dr. Pianta is a principal investigator on the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care, a senior investigator with the National Center for Early Development and Learning, and editor of the Journal of School Psychology. He teaches courses on intervention with children and the role of social and emotional processes in development.

Dr. Pianta is also the father of three children, is a soccer coach, and is learning to play the piano.

Reviews & Awards

One of the most important factors in students' success in school is the relationship with the adults they encounter there. Not only are these relationships important in their own right, but they can have considerable bearing on students' motivations, on their achievement, and on their perceptions of themselves as learners. Yet all too often teachers who are experts in their subjects and experts in general principles of instruction fail to reach students because they do not know how to connect to them. This book could help change this situation. It provides a comprehensive perspective on theories of social interaction that explains teacher–student relationships and effective strategies for enhancing them. The book's greatest strength is its clear, well-written explanations of theory and research and its linking of these principles to case studies and to actions teachers can take to create positive teacher–student relationships and solve problems inherent in these relationships. This is not a cookbook, however, but an intelligent discussion intended to give teachers, counselors, and others who work with children the intellectual grounding to make and implement wise decisions.
—Robert Slavin, PhD, Center for Social Organization of Schools, The Johns Hopkins University

Enhancing Relationships Between Children and Teachers is especially timely as the issue of class size moves to the forefront of the debate about educational policy, and as school personnel must deal with increasingly complex emotional and behavioral problems. Pianta mixes systems theory, empirical data, clinical examples, and specific recommendations for techniques that can be employed at the individual or classroom level, making this book accessible to a wide audience of professionals. The effective use of clinical anecdotes from the experience of real teachers working with troubled children brings abstract concepts to life. This book ultimately may be a call for changes in those school policies that discourage supportive teacher–child relationships, but as Pianta is well aware, changing systems is no easy feat. This book will be important reading for researchers, practitioners, educators, and policymakers who are concerned about the well-being of children across the many contexts in which development occurs.
—Susan B. Campbell, PhD, Professor of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh

It was a delight to receive and read this book, I particularly like the interplay between an emphasis on the processes within teacher–child relationships and a real understanding of contextual and systemic issues within schools.
—Carollee Howes, PhD, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Los Angeles