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The Influence of Teacher and Peer Relationships on Students' Classroom Engagement and Everyday Motivational Resilience


by Carrie J. Furrer, Ellen A. Skinner & Jennifer R. Pitzer — 2014

The quality of students’ relationships with teachers and peers is a fundamental substrate for the development of academic engagement and achievement. This chapter offers teachers and researchers a motivational framework that explains how positive and negative student–teacher and student–peer relationships are sustained in the classroom, and strategies for creating solutions to improve relationships.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 113, No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 116 Number 13, 2014, p. 101-123
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18313, Date Accessed: 5/29/2017 11:10:03 AM

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About the Author
  • Carrie Furrer
    Portland State University
    E-mail Author
    CARRIE FURRER is a senior research associate at the Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services in the Graduate School of Social Work at Portland State University. Her research interests include the influence of peer groups on students’ academic motivation, especially during the transition to high school; youth development programs that promote academic motivation and achievement; early childhood education and intervention; and family support. She specializes in program evaluation, research methods and quantitative data analysis. Recent publications: Furrer, C. J. (2010). Capturing the friendship group context: Friendship group engagement vs. disaffection. Journal of Adolescence, 33, 853–867; and Skinner, E. A., Kindermann, T. A., & Furrer, C. J. (2009). A motivational perspective on engagement and disaffection: Conceptualization and assessment of children’s behavioral and emotional participation in academic activities in the classroom. Educational & Psychological Measurement, 69, 493–525.
  • Ellen Skinner
    Portland State University
    E-mail Author
    ELLEN SKINNER is a professor of developmental science and education in the psychology department at Portland State University. Her research interests focus on the development of children’s motivation, coping, and academic identity in school. She is especially interested in how to promote students’ engagement and motivational resilience as antidotes to the steady losses in motivation that start when children enter school and are especially serious over transitions, like to middle and high school. Her team is focusing on two ingredients that shape motivational resilience: (1) close relationships with teachers, parents, and peers, and (2) academic work that is authentic and intrinsically motivating. Recent publications: Skinner, E. A., Chi, U., & the Learning-Gardens Educational Assessment Group. (2012). Intrinsic motivation and engagement as “active ingredients” in garden-based education: Examining models and measures derived from self-determination theory. Journal of Environmental Education, 43,16–36; and Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J., & Skinner, E. A. (2011). The development of coping across childhood and adolescence: An integrative review and critique of research. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 35, 1–17.
  • Jennifer Pitzer
    Portland State University
    E-mail Author
    Jennifer Pitzer is a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Portland State University. Her research interests include the influence of teacher support (i.e., warmth, structure, and autonomy support) on the development of students’ motivational resilience, particularly over the transition to middle school. Recent publications: Skinner, E. A., & Pitzer, J. (2012). Developmental dynamics of engagement, coping, and everyday resilience. In S. Christenson, A. Reschly, & C. Wylie (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Student Engagement (pp. 21–45). New York, NY: Springer Science.
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