“Teacher-student relations at different timescales from an interpersonal perspective”

21st February 2022 : 12:45 - 14:00

Category: Seminar Webinar

Research Group: Quantitative Methods Hub

Speaker: Prof Tim Mainhard

Location: Online only

Convener: Lars-Erik Malmberg

Audience: Public

Online only event.

Register here to watch online.


Professor Tim Mainhard,

University of Leiden, The Netherlands


The interpersonal approach to teacher-student relations describes the interactions and relationships in terms of two basic dimensions: interpersonal Agency (i.e., dominance) and Communion (i.e., sociability). After introducing the basic concepts and mechanisms of interpersonal theory, such as the Interpersonal Circle, it is discussed how social dynamic systems theory can help to understand interpersonal dynamics between teachers and students at different time scales. Moment-to-moment behavior and interaction is viewed as the driving force of development, which also feeds into the formation of relationships and, for example, teachers’ interpersonal styles. While lower level constructs like interaction develop fast, higher level constructs like relationships develop at a much slower rate. Nonetheless, relationships on their turn also affect interactions and what behavior is more likely to occur. Changes in interactions and relationships are reviewed on three different timescales: how teacher and student behaviors feed into moment-to-moment classroom interactions, how interactions are associated with teacher-student relationships and the classroom social climate developing over weeks and months, and finally, how a teacher’s interpersonal style develops over the teacher’s professional life. Measurement instruments that facilitate research at different time-scales are introduced (e.g., the Continuous Assessment of Interpersonal Dynamics) as well as how interactions and relationships are associated with other educational variables.lar