Does My Teacher Like Me? A Student-Centered Exploration of Student-Teacher Relationships and the Impact of Belonging, Race, and Ethnicity.
Almashy, Lhisa R
Student discourse for a sense of belonging or care within positive, effective student-teacher relationships involves the concept of "like" or "being liked" by teachers. There has been considerable literature on a sense of belonging, race and ethnicity, but very little from the students' perspectives. Using Social Identity, Critical Race, and Social Capital theories, this capstone study explored high school sophomores' perspectives on what it means to be liked by a teacher, how that creates a sense of belonging, the possible impact of race or ethnicity, and any connections to academic achievement. The qualitative interview data was analyzed to determine five distinct findings from which a professional development framework was designed. The framework, Open Hand Leadership and Learning in Action or OHLLA, is a human-centered, ongoing professional development that is culturally relevant and responsive while highlighting student voice. This study provides inroads for exploring students' perspectives as stakeholders in their education while creating opportunities for educators to practice more equitable and effective pedagogy.