Positive deviant teachers: how beliefs, relational dynamics with students, and administrator leadership style impact their success with disengaged students

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Knighton, Rebecca A.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Health Sciences
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Health Sciences
Teachers of chronically disengaged students are at risk for burnout and attrition. This qualitative study used a systemic, ecological lens to investigate how highly skilled secondary teachers built relationships with disengaged students. Data were collected through observations of four teachers and semi-structured interviews with 12 teachers, five administrators, and seven adults whose lives were impacted by a teacher. At the core of their success were two beliefs: (1) the purpose of education was to support the human development of students, and (2) authenticity was key to their success. Additional findings highlighted parallel beliefs of administrators who supported teacher success and increased their job satisfaction. Teacher education needs to shift its focus from teaching strategies to a more in-depth development of the teacher’s philosophy and being to enhance how they use themselves in building relationships with disengaged students.
disengagement , teachers , teacher-student relationship , disengaged students , teacher wellbeing , teacher job satisfaction , humanistic learning theory , Humanistic leadership , transformational leadership , transformational learning theory , turning points , human development in education , student engagement , secondary , secondary education , self-efficacy , authenticity , teacher beliefs , trust , ecological model , positive deviance , Teachers--Job satisfaction , Teachers--Attitudes , Teacher-student relationships , Transformational leadership , Education, Secondary , HIgh school dropouts--Prevention , Teachers--Job stress , Teachers--Philosophy , Teacher-administrator relationships , Teacher-principal relationships , High school students--Attitudes , Dissertations, Academic