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Being there: how teachers of students facing adversity promote positive relationships

Ridge, Damien, Sheehan, Margaret, Marshall, Bernie, Maher, Shelley and Carlisle, Rachel 2003, Being there: how teachers of students facing adversity promote positive relationships, Qualitative research journal, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 5-21.

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Title Being there: how teachers of students facing adversity promote positive relationships
Author(s) Ridge, Damien
Sheehan, Margaret
Marshall, Bernie
Maher, Shelley
Carlisle, Rachel
Journal name Qualitative research journal
Volume number 3
Issue number 2
Start page 5
End page 21
Publisher RMIT Publishing
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2003
ISSN 1448-0980
Keyword(s) disadvantaged youth
health promotion
school community relationship
student teacher relationship
well being
focus groups
primary education
secondary education
Summary While it is said that building positive relationships between students and teachers promotes both student emotional wellbeing and learning, the literature currently provides few clues on how to go about building such relations (and the priorities for action) which are grounded in the research. Interviews and a focus group were used to explore the perspectives of experienced teachers in promoting wellbeing among students facing adversity (i.e. prolonged difficulties and misfortune, such as poverty and issues associated with being a refugee). The results showed that teachers who nurtured relationships with students facing adversity meet considerable challenges. Priority challenges included grappling with unfamiliar student values; facing their own and other staff judgements; boundary issues; schools becoming refuges in communities under strain; and trying to still care when workplace changes appeared to work against positive teacher–student (TS) relationships. The paper concludes that such relationships are a site of tension, contradiction and intensity. Nevertheless, for these teachers, the specific challenges in relationships laid the foundations for meaningful student learning and mental health promotion.
Language eng
Field of Research 111714 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Health and Social Development
Higher Education Research Group
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