BACKGROUND: Student-teacher relationships are associated with the social and emotional climate of a school, a key domain of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model. Few interventions target student-teacher relationships during the critical transition to high school, or incorporate strategies for enhancing equitable relationships. We conducted a mixed-methods feasibility study of a student-teacher relationship intervention, called Equity-Explicit Establish-Maintain-Restore (E-EMR). METHODS: We tested whether students (N = 133) whose teachers received E-EMR training demonstrated improved relationship quality, school belonging, motivation, behavior, and academic outcomes from pre- to post-test, and whether these differences were moderated by race. We also examined how teachers (N = 16) integrated a focus on equity into their implementation of the intervention. RESULTS: Relative to white students, students of the color showed greater improvement on belongingness, behavior, motivation, and GPA. Teachers described how they incorporated a focus on race/ethnicity, culture, and bias into E-EMR practices, and situated their relationships with students within the contexts of their own identity, the classroom/school context, and broader systems of power and privilege. CONCLUSIONS: We provide preliminary evidence for E-EMR to change teacher practice and reduce educational disparities for students of color. We discuss implications for other school-based interventions to integrate an equity-explicit focus into program content and evaluation.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Journal of School Health published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American School Health Association.
- education equity
- implicit bias
- school program evaluation
- student-teacher relationships
- teacher professional development
- transition to high school transition
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't