Variables affecting positive faculty-student relationships in an Ecuadorian university

Christian Benjamin Cabezas (Department of Psychology, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador)
Carlos Vidal Acurio (Department of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador)
Marie-France Merlyn (Department of Psychology, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador)
Cristina Elizabeth Orbe (Department of Psychology, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador)
Wilma Leonila Riera (Department of Psychology, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Publication date: 8 October 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the main variables that affect the establishment of a good faculty-student pedagogical relationship in representative samples from a main university in Ecuador.

Design/methodology/approach

In the first phase of this exploratory mixed methods study, focus groups were conducted to identify the variables of interest, and in a second phase, these variables were rated in relevance by applying the “pile-sort” method.

Findings

Results showed that for students, the variable that most affects the establishment of a good relationship with their faculty is the “faculty’s knowledge,” while the variable that showed the least effect is the “number of students in the classroom.” On the other hand, faculty members responded that the variables that most affect the establishment of a good pedagogical relationship are “empathy with students,” “vocation” and “faculty’s knowledge,” while they considered that the least relevant variables were “context” variables such as “the number of students in the classroom” and “the physical conditions of the classroom.”

Practical implications

These results provide relevant insights into the importance that students place on the theoretical resources that faculty members show as a foundation for establishing positive relationships. In the same way, the relevance that faculty members place on the elements “empathy,” “vocation” and “knowledge” as key variables needed to establish positive interactions.

Originality/value

Previous research had underlined the importance that positive faculty-students relationships have on achieving learning goals. However, the variables that would affect the establishment of these relationships were not clearly recognized.

Keywords

Citation

Cabezas, C., Acurio, C., Merlyn, M., Orbe, C. and Riera, W. (2018), "Variables affecting positive faculty-student relationships in an Ecuadorian university", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 570-582. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-03-2018-0041

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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