Positive Relationships: do Student Teachers have what it takes? Analysis of Germany and Tanzania
Positive teacher-student relationship (TSR) is fundamental for a student’s learning and development. TSR does determine a student’s engagement, adaptation to change and motivation to learn. Teachers are the primary architects in determining the extent to which positive relationships are realized in classrooms and schools. This study examined student teachers’ knowledge of positive TSRs and their perceptions of the role of TSRs in students’ learning and development. Study compared student teachers in Germany and Tanzania. It employed the Mixed Methods Research approach and utilised both the theoretical and statistical logic in data collection, sampling and data analysis. Data analysis and presentation employed both quantitative and qualitative methods. Findings have indicated that despite the positive change in relational knowledge, final year student teachers have inadequate knowledge of basic concepts and procedures of TSRs. In comparison, student-teachers in Germany demonstrate a statistically significant higher knowledge levels both in quantitative and qualitative terms than their Tanzanian counterparts. The study recommends for an introduction of a module on TSRs in the initial years of teacher education (within pedagogical courses) in order to provide knowledge and skills about positive teacher-student relationships.