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Respect for the rights of the child as an indicator of the quality of student-teacher relationship

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Širanović, Ana. (2016). Respect for the rights of the child as an indicator of the quality of student-teacher relationship. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Pedagogy.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij pedagogije. Smjer: Kurikulum suvremenog odgoja i škole) [mentor Maleš, Dubravka].

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Abstract

This dissertation explores the relationship between respecting the rights of the child and the student-teacher pedagogical relationship, the research of which is justified on the grounds of the theoretical assumption that from the pedagogical standpoint the concept of the right of the child should be approached from the perspective of the pedagogical relationship. The research consists of a theoretical and an empirical part. In the first part of the theoretical research the concept of the right of the child is analyzed in relation to the concept of the human right as well as from the perspective of childhood and the child’s difference as compared to the adult, resulting in the elaboration of an approach to the right of the child from the pedagogical perspective. In the second part of the theoretical research the focus is transferred to the second construct of interest in the research, the student-teacher relationship, with the quality of this relationship defined from the perspectives of three most influential theoretical orientations in pedagogy: humanistic, critical and empirical pedagogy. Based on the conclusions of the theoretical research, the problem of the empirical research is formulated as a lack of knowledge about the relationship between respecting the rights of the child and the student-teacher relationship quality, with the aim of investigating the relationship between the two variables more thoroughly. The empirical part of the research also consists of two parts, a quantitative and a qualitative part. The quantitative research has included a total of 538 fourth and eighth grade students who attended, for the purpose of this research conveniently selected, thirteen elementary schools in the City of Zagreb and Zagreb County. The questionnaire explored students’ perceptions of the respect of the rights of the child by their teachers as well as the quality of their relationships with the teachers. The results show that the students estimate that their teachers generally respect their rights, while they view the relationships with the teachers as predominantly warm and supportive. The comparison of the differences between the estimates of students of different demographic and other characteristics show that the age and academic achievement of student, size of the school the student attends, urbanization of the location of the school, and gender of the teacher have an effect on the perception of the respect for the rights of the child. The results suggest that younger students, students with better academic achievements, students who attend smaller schools and in less urbanized locations, and students whose teachers are female tend to perceive that their teachers respect the rights of the child more often than the teachers of older students, students with poorer academic achievements, students who attend bigger schools and in more urbanized locations, and students whose teachers are male, as perceived by those students. The results further show that the same independent variables affect the perception of the quality of the student-teacher relationship, whereby younger students, girls, students with better academic achievements, students who attend bigger schools and in less urbanized locations, and students whose teachers are female tend to perceive the quality of their relationship with teachers as better than the quality of the relationship as perceived by older students, boys, students with poorer academic achievement, students who attend smaller (but not very small) schools and in more urbanized locations, and students whose teachers are male. Concerning the relationship between respecting the rights of the child and the student-teacher relationship quality, the results show that respecting the rights of the child correlates positively with the positive dimension of the student-teacher relationship quality (support), and negatively with the negative dimensions of the relationship quality (negative interaction, pressure, exclusion, dominance). In conclusion, the respondents’ estimates suggest that the more often the teacher respects the rights of the child, their relationship with their students is perceived as better in quality. The qualitative research included a total of 88 fourth and eighth grade students, selected on the basis of voluntary consent, in five elementary schools involved in the quantitative part of the research. The students were interviewed in groups (a total of nine groups), with the aim of achieving a deeper insight into students’ experiences of their rights in school and the relationships with their teachers. Group interviews resulted in a more vivid description of the way the respondents perceive their rights and the relationships with their teachers. The respondents perceive the teachers who they think respect their rights as kind, caring, intelligent, benevolent, patient and consistent. They think such teachers take time to get to know their students, take interest in their opinions and perspectives, involve students in decision-making processes and help them in class, as well as advocate their best interests and defend them from harm. In addition to being warm and gentle, such teachers posses a healthy authority, based not on coercion but on establishing reasonable boundaries, as described by the respondents. On the other hand, the respondents perceive the teachers who they think violate their rights as cold and rough, prone to yelling and arguing in class and venting personal frustrations on students. They think such teachers are unreliable due to their inconsistency and reluctance to forgive, as well as due to breaking promises and rules. Furthermore, they perceive such teachers as unfair and prone to punishing students without explanation and looking into whether the accused is in fact guilty of the charge, while at the same time privileging their favorites. The descriptions of personality traits and behaviors of the teachers who their students perceive as respecting their rights prove to match the characteristics of the empirical model of the student-teacher relationship of a good quality, as well as the theoretical constructs of the pedagogical relationship in the traditions of humanistic and critical pedagogy. Based on the overall research results, it is concluded that respecting the rights of the child correlates positively with the student-teacher relationship of a good quality. The research confirmed the validity of the theoretical assumptions about the appearance of the pedagogical relationship in the pedagogical tradition, as well as the pedagogical relevance of the rights of the child, given the proven and elaborated correlation between respecting the rights of the child and the student-teacher relationship quality. The pedagogical relevance of the concept of the rights of the child could be manifested in its potential to serve as an indicator of the student-teacher relationship quality.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: rights of the child, pedagogical relationship, student-teacher relationship, student-teacher relationship quality, provision rights, protection rights, participation rights
Subjects: Pedagogija
Departments: Department of Pedagogy
Supervisor: Maleš, Dubravka
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij pedagogije. Smjer: Kurikulum suvremenog odgoja i škole
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2016 11:32
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2016 11:32
URI: http://darhiv.ffzg.unizg.hr/id/eprint/6907

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