A nonlinear dynamic systems approach to real-time teacher behavior: Differences between teachers

Helena J. M. Pennings, Mieke Brekelmans, Theo Wubbels, Luce Claessens, A. van der Want, Jan van Tartwijk

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Positive teacher-student relationships are important for positive student outcomes and teacher well-being (Cornelius-White, 2007; Spilt, Koomen, & Thijs, 2011). How this relationship develops has hardly been studied. We explored whether real-time interpersonal teacher behavior (micro-level) is related to the teacher-student relationship (Macro-level) (i.e., measured using student perceptions of interpersonal teacher behavior with the Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction; Wubbels, Brekelmans, Den Brok, & Van Tartwijk, 2006). Real-time interpersonal teacher behavior was conceptualized using Interpersonal Theory in terms of (a blend of) Agency and Communion. To code this behavior we used Sadler’s computer joystick procedure (Lizdek, Sadler, Woody, Ethier, & Malet, 2012). We explored differences in attractors and variability in real-time interpersonal teacher behavior using State Space Grid (SSG) analyses (Lewis, Lamey, & Douglas, 1999). We found the expected differences between teachers and correspondence between the location of the attractors in the SSG and the blend of Agency and Communion characterizing the teachers’ interpersonal profiles. Regarding structure, we found the expected higher variability in real-time behavior for teachers with interpersonal profiles characterized by lower levels of Agency and Communion. We concluded there is sufficient potential of NDS to differentiate between teachers in order to use a NDS approach in future research on the connection between teacher-student relationship and real-time teacher interpersonal behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014
EventInternational Nonlinear Science Conference - Nijmegen, Netherlands
Duration: 20 Mar 201422 Mar 2014


ConferenceInternational Nonlinear Science Conference


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