The Art of Teaching: Oct 19 - Nov 6, 2009

Trust and Relationship Building

Trust and Relationship Building

by neil SMITH -
Number of replies: 5
Several people in the CHAT commented on the critical importance of developing trust and healthy relationships with students. There are SO MANY different strategies, only a few of which were explored in the DVD.

What things do you think work best to build and engender the level of trust and relationship that fosters the best learning environment?
In reply to neil SMITH

Re: Trust and Relationship Building

by Sylvia Currie -
Thinking back on the Elluminate session last Monday I remember someone pointed out that building trust and healthy relationships between learners was equally important as with learners.

A quick thought that comes to mind is that it's important to find ways to cultivate non-competitive learning environments. Some activities are obviously competitive, but instructors often unknowingly set up competitive situations by emphasizing grades and openly acknowledging only a selection of students.


In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Trust and Relationship Building

by Barbara Dieu -
Following the forum in distant mode but on the bridging theme wanted to share this paper by Alexander Sidorkin - the Pedagogy of the Interhuman, which I find invaluable. Although mainly geared at school, I think it applies in all situations.
In reply to Barbara Dieu

Re: Trust and Relationship Building

by Dr. Nellie Deutsch -
Hi Bee,

Thank you for sharing Sidorkin's paper. I liked the statement he made about our feelings getting in the way of "a direct relation" because "Psychnologsits have convinced us that what we feel is what we are, and what the other says s/he feels is what s/he is". This reminds me of Alan Watts ideas on "who am I?" in The Tao of Philosophy. I believe spreading awareness and connecting to our students is the way to go. However, it may be hard to do our own thing if we have the administration/principal/supervisor watching our backs and dictating the policies. The trick is follow humanistic ideals and not get fired by the learning institution. I have striven to do my own thing as an EFL teacher in the public school system for over 30 years, but it has not been easy.


In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Trust and Relationship Building

by Deirdre Bonnycastle -
We use a technique called Structured Controversy in our large classrooms that I think would translate well online.

"Structured Controversy
(SC) – sometimes referred to as ‘Co-operative Controversy’ or ‘Structured Academic Controversy’ – is a co-operative learning activity. During SC all students, working in teams and small groups during class time, engage in an informal debate like discussion about a controversial issue arguing one position in Round 1 and then another position in Round 2. The purpose of SC is not to defeat the other side, but rather to uncover the various arguments pertaining to the issue in question." - M. D'Eon 2009


In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Trust and Relationship Building

by Paddy Fahrni -
Hello Sylvia et al,
Just late joining. Very interested in this discussion but am afraid I'll be mostly following as most of my experience is in more informal contexts. Really interesting references so far - thanks everyone!
Paddy Fahrni