ABSTRACT. Educational psychology has contributed to understandings of effective pedagogical practices. Despite this knowledge, student achievement has not improved markedly. This may be because researchers have not conveyed empirical findings to teachers, to teacher education programs not educating pre-service teachers in valuable practices, to teacher mistrust of educational psychology research, and to teachers implementing teaching methods that have no empirical base. Nevertheless, the focus of educational psychology has been on effective instructional practices leading to improved student achievement. A smaller group of researchers have investigated the social and affective aspects of classrooms as contributing to improved student achievement. This paper advocates for enhancing teacher care and relationships with and among students in order to improve student outcomes. The paper advocates introducing a new field, the social psychology of the classroom, sitting alongside educational psychology, which would expand and encourage research into teacher-student relationships as benefitting student academic and social learning. pp. 155–171

Keywords: educational psychology; social psychology; teaching relationships; class climate; teacher expectations

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University of Auckland

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