Students dating lecturers: Why, how, and what are the consequences? - Study International
Friendships can blossom naturally between scholars and students, but are believes that “the relationship between a student and an academic needs exist if it weren't for university lecturers sleeping with their students”: his. In formulating rules pertaining to relationships between academic, PASS, or contract staff and students, the University is concerned to protect the integrity of the. Australian academics and students are calling for a ban on sexual relationships between university staff and students.
This is difficult territory because the spark which sometimes sets relationships alight for both parties may be the existence of an imbalance of power.
Such an imbalance may also give rise to an experience of coercion. One party may for example wish to 'date' and the other be reluctant but not say 'no' clearly at an early stage; or perhaps the 'no' is not immediately accepted; or perhaps the 'no' is apparently accepted but altered behaviour follows, for example, a perception of punishment in the form of undue academic criticism. The latter may be labelled 'harassment' or 'sexual harassment' depending on the context.
Where there is a perception that such pressures may be linked to possible academic favours, complaints can become very complex, time consuming, expensive and harrowing for everyone.
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This can be very damaging to a member of staff. For all these reasons staff should regard awareness of possible imbalances of power as not just about not abusing a position of trust or duty of care but about not permitting themselves to be put in a position where their behaviour could all too readily be construed as suspicious, thereby avoiding allegations however unjustified of inappropriate behaviour.
In this context it is not a defence for a member of staff to maintain that a student did not object to a particular behaviour, that the student gave or appeared to give permission, or indeed that the student initiated the activity.
When might an imbalance of power arise? When a member of staff has a personal relationship with a student as well as a professional one.
This should be declared as above so appropriate arrangements can be made to avoid any possibility of advantage or disadvantage for the student When a student may be more vulnerable than normal. Increasing numbers of students arrive at university with chronic mental health problems which are not readily apparent but can be brought out by a variety of stressors. A member of staff may find it difficult to discern and demonstrate the required duty of care owed by all staff in the midst of a deepening personal, professional and public relations nightmare.
The Personal Tutor Academic staff who become Tutors have a great potential imbalance of power with tutees. There can be a one-way knowledge of personal information, the power to write employment references and the power to act with discretion for the student in certain circumstances. The Tutor may be the person through whom complaints about such serious issues as sexual harassment by other members of the University may be channelled and may give advice and use counselling skills in a non-clinical way.
First, we address the quality of TSR in higher education. Second, we examine studies that have explored the consequences of TSR, focusing on the effect of TSR on students, as teacher effect is almost absent from empirical research. Third, we discuss empirical work focusing on the development of TSR and describe how interactions, their frequency and quality may contribute to that process.
Fourth, we present a heuristic framework that brings together the aforementioned, and propose an agenda for future research on TSR. Methodology The selection of relevant literature consisted of two phases.
First, a systematic search was undertaken through selected databases in education, psychology and social science ERIC, Psyndex, Psych Info. Second, a snowball procedure involving follow-ups on some of the references cited by the studies identified in the initial search was applied. The inclusion criteria used in this two-phase approach were that papers had to: The quality of TSR In this section, we discuss the conceptual and operational problems associated with the concept of TSR in higher education.
This is followed by an examination of the multi-dimensional and context-dependent nature of TSR. We then review empirical studies that have addressed various aspects of the nature of TSR. Conceptualisation and operationalisation difficulties Conceptualising TSR in higher education is not easy, as the field is under-explored and multifarious. This has resulted in several empirical studies that have operationalised TSR in higher education very differently, making it difficult to analyse them as a unified group and draw comparisons.
Secondly, the few studies that have de facto focused on TSR as the variable-of-interest are primarily qualitative. They provide fruitful insights into, for instance, teacher and student perspectives on positively or negatively experienced TSR e. Thirdly, in investigating TSR, much of the literature focuses on teacher-student or faculty-student interactions, without describing the quality of TSR.
In several studies, the frequency of interactions was the main focus of investigation for an overview, see Lamport, Generally, investigations of the frequency of teacher—student interactions show that the more often students have out-of-classroom interactions e.
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Not all instances of interactions with university teachers are necessarily positive in nature, and thus do not automatically lead to positive outcomes.
Furthermore, as Baumeister and Leary argued, interactions must be distinguished from relationships. Although some more recent empirical studies have made valuable attempts to assess the quality of teacher—student interactions e.
Accounting for the multi-dimensionality and context-dependency of TSR Despite the aforementioned difficulties in comparing research findings, studies on TSR in higher education provide some initial insights into its quality. From the school research, it is clear that TSR cannot be conceptualised as a one-dimensional construct; rather, it is multi-dimensional in nature.
AT is a theory based on attachments or relationships; in contrast, in SDT, relationships are not the only factor at work, as the sense of relatedness is regarded as one of three basic psychological needs that influence human motivation.
One internationally recognised instrument used to assess TSR is the Teacher—student-Relationship Scale Pianta,which distinguishes between the TSR dimensions of closeness, conflict, and dependency. SDT researchers who focus primarily on the relatedness need, also tend to apply a multi-dimensional approach to TSR and frequently refer to AT when putting the TSR construct into operation e.