Positive relationships in the classroom can serve as powerful motivators for learning and engagement because they fulfill a basic human need to belong. By promoting collaboration, mutual respect, support, and enthusiasm for learning in their science classrooms, science teachers can facilitate a sense of comfort and connectedness in their students that leads to positive learning experiences. More information on how to foster such conducive relationships can be found in chapter 3.
Resources to support teachers in promoting positive relationships can be found by clicking on the links at right. Resources include handouts and activities, further reading, links to recommended websites, and short (~ 3 minute) video clips illustrating the importance of this concept to practicing scientists and showing exemplary high school teachers who practice the strategies recommended in the book.
1. Cooperative Learning
Comprehensive website on doing CL (cooperative learning).
Website on Cooperative Learning in Science by SEDL. Page I is a brief overview and the following pages summarizes models of cooperative learning for science classrooms.
Teacher-created website containing collaborative K-12 activities specific to biology, physics, chemistry etc.
Archimedes Institute guide to methods and strategies for small group discussion.
2. Strengthening Relationships
The students’ perspective on how to work together: “First Ask Then Listen: How to help your students help you teach them better” from What Kids Can Do. See especially Theme 1, p.6-8 (Personal Connections to the Teacher), and Theme 4, p.10-11 (Classroom Connections).
3. Professional Development
A research brief by Pianta and colleagues on classroom interactions that boost student achievement. Useful for professional development at both the pre-service and in-service levels.
4. National Science Teacher Association Materials
NSTA materials for Cooperative Learning (membership required to view full articles):
- Cuda, R. Multi-Resource Learning: How to effectively use multiple resources and cooperative groups in the classroom.
- Pratt, S. Cooperative learning strategies: Cooperative learning creates a vibrant, interactive community in the classroom.
- Steward, S., & Swango, J. Science sampler: The eight-step method to great group work.
- Parr, R. Teacher’s toolkit: Improving science instruction through effective group interactions.
- Bybee, R. W., & Feldman, J. What role does cooperation play?
5. Videos about Affiliation
Links to videos about concepts and strategies described in this chapter are found on this page. To learn more about the scientists and teachers featured in these videos, click here where you can read a description and/or select a link to find all video clips of them.
Sheri talks about how positive teacher-student relationships made her want to work hard and how extra support from teachers can be crucial to student success.
Laura talks about how her science teacher inspired her by making connections to his students and showing great enthusiasm for science.
Teachers and Classrooms
Kris prepares students for test by promoting positive relationships.
Students talk about how Kris’s care and expectations for them make them want to work hard.
Kris emphasizes the importance of studying together and how this benefits learning.
Students talk about a teacher who cares about her students and provides instrumental support inspire them to learn.
Ray and his students talk about how collaboration boosts positive learning experiences.
Ray provides reassurance, feedback, and instrumental support to promote deeper learning during inquiry projects.
Ray demonstrates and his students evince benefits of building strong relationships in the classroom.
Steve talks about how using the jigsaw model of cooperative learning focuses students on the learning process and lets them become experts within the group.
By sharing a personal story, Matt connects with students and shows them that even difficult goals can be reached.
Students work in cooperative groups as they conduct research and do experiments during a problem based learning project.