Improving the Teacher-Student relationship: Using the principles of Rogerian Psychoanalysis

06 Jul 2021 0

There are four pillars in the development of a person’s mind. These are family, teachers, friends and self. These four pillars or aspects help in developing a person’s perception, thought process and outlook towards life. It is important to understand that though all the four are equally important, yet one particular aspect affects the person more during different phases of life. Whereas as an infant and kid, parents remain the most impactful factor, the teachers become a crucial role model during adolescence time. Therefore, it is important to have a healthy and understanding relationship between a teacher and a student.

Carl Rogers is considered as one of the most influential psychotherapists of the twentieth-century. He is the one who came up with the Client-Centered Therapy, which is also known as Person-Centered Therapy or Rogerian Therapy. Through this he focused on the non-directional approach of communication which is required not just in the personal sphere but also in the professional one. This approach says that rather than directing the other person to respond in a particular way, it is better to reflect on what the other is saying and let them talk freely.

This helps in improving the understanding between the two people, which in this case is  a teacher and a student. The education system has remained one-directional; from the teacher to the students, for so long. This one-directional approach suppressed the minds of students and made their minds limited to think inside the box. Rogers suggested three principles in his approach namely: congruence, empathy and respect.

Congruence talks about the genuine and honest reviews to the other, empathy directs to feel “with” and not “for” the other and respect means giving unconditional positive regard to the other. These principles, applied in a teacher-student relationship, can impact the entirety of the understanding. The role played by teachers in the lives of students can prove to be life-changing and thus, it is important to make sure that this change in the life remains positive.

Letting the students explore their minds and ideas or just listening to the issues they are facing in real life which are affecting their academic performance can help the students to develop a sense of security and trust in their teachers and make them do better the next time. However, getting a negative response for the same might make them lose interest in the whole subject or paper completely.

According to the Rogerian Principle, there needs to be mutual respect between any relationship, be it personal or professional. Also, there has to be genuine effort in understanding each other even if it’s just listening to the other and letting them open about their experiences. The teachers can guide the students on how to do better but shouldn’t limit them to their own perspectives. These little steps and changes can go a long way in improving the teacher-student relationship.


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