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                            The Role of the Student-Teacher Relationship in the Lives of Fifth Graders: A Mixed Methods Analysis
	
ChrisKnoellDISSERTATIONck
                        
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University of Nebraska - Lincoln University of Nebraska - Lincoln

[email protected] of Nebraska - Lincoln [email protected] of Nebraska - Lincoln

Public Access Theses and Dissertations from
the College of Education and Human Sciences

Education and Human Sciences, College of
(CEHS)

5-2012

The Role of the Student-Teacher Relationship in the Lives of Fifth The Role of the Student-Teacher Relationship in the Lives of Fifth

Graders: A Mixed Methods Analysis Graders: A Mixed Methods Analysis

Christopher M. Knoell
[email protected]

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THE ROLE OF THE STUDENT-TEACHER RELATIONSHIP IN THE LIVES OF

FIFTH GRADERS: A MIXED METHODS ANALYSIS



By



Christopher M. Knoell



A DISSERTATION



Presented to the Faculty of

The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska

In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements

For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Major: Educational Studies

(Teaching, Curriculum, & Learning)



Under the Supervision of Professor Delwyn L. Harnisch



Lincoln, Nebraska

May, 2012

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interviews, the results are reported separately due to the different themes that emerged

from the different questions.

Themes from the ClassMaps Follow-up Questions. The ClassMaps Follow-up

Questions were initially posed to answer the study’s Mixed Methods Question, In what

ways do the semi-structured interviews help to explain the students’ responses on the

Teacher-Student section of ClassMaps Survey (CMS)?. In addition to serving this

purpose, posing the ClassMaps Follow-up Questions allowed for further analysis, which

brought to light seven themes. These themes included common characteristics the

different teachers possessed, some of which were explicitly stated and one theme that

emerged due to its obvious omission from the interview transcripts.

Sense of humor. The first theme that emerged as valued by the students and

possessed by the teachers included a strong sense of humor. Students from three of the

classrooms specifically mentioned that their teacher possessed this characteristic. There

were two main ways in which this sense of humor was expressed, but both seemed to

evoke the same result -- the students enjoying time with their teacher.

Two of the teachers, Mrs. Whatley and Mrs. Newman, each showed her sense of

humor mainly through telling funny stories about her respective family. One of Mrs.

Whatley’s students, Kylie, shared an example of this, “Well, she’ll talk about her family,

and some of it’s funny. She told me about her daughter when she slept walked and she

walked all the way down the stairs, opened the fridge, got the milk out and then went

back to bed. That was funny.” One of Mrs. Newman’s students shared a similar example

stating, “She’s funny, she’s nice and she tells a lot of stories of like her with her

grandkids and stuff.” Another student backed this sentiment stating, “She’s always

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making us laugh and she tells us stories about her grandchildren.” Mr. Banya was

described by several of his students as hilarious and they shared that he tells lots of jokes.

One student summed it best stating, “If someone makes him laugh he’ll add another thing

that makes the other person laugh.”

Consistent help (with high expectations). Another theme that the fifth graders felt

strongly about was that their teachers were consistently helpful, yet still held them

accountable for their own learning. One student shared, “most of the time I don’t need

help but when I do, she always does.” Other students stated that, “When I need help, I

know that she’ll come...” and, “If we need help, she’ll always call on us and say, “What

can I help you with?.” Students in all four classrooms shared different ways in which this

help was delivered. Some of the help was given as class was in session, other times it was

provided in a small group or individually after school or at recess, and still another one of

the teachers offered her help via a sign-up list on the board. In this last situation, if a

problem was encountered as the student worked on assignments and tasks, he or she

added their name to the bottom of the “help list.” Then the teacher systematically worked

down the list student by student until everyone received the assistance they needed.

Again, it didn’t appear to be important to the students how the help was provided, but that

it was consistent and available to all.

Not only did students value when their teachers provided the help, they also

valued the expectations of orderliness and students trying on their own. Several

mentioned that the assistance was always available, but that there were procedures that

needed to be followed, most importantly the raising of hands while patiently waiting in

one’s seat. Others spoke of the teacher not doing for students what they are able to do on

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