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The topic of this study is Impact of teacher-student relationship on academic performance of senior secondary students  in Enugu North local government area of Enugu  state. The study intend to determine the extent to which teachers punish and react towards students in the class whenever their attention is needed by them, the extent to which teachers reinforce the students in the classroom, the extent to which teachers allows students freedom in the class and the extent to which teachers use leisure time to engage the students in a friendly chat. The data used for the study were obtained by the use of structured questionnaire. The study adopted random sampling techniques using a sample size of 200 students from the 4 selected government secondary schools, mean and grand mean was used for data analysis. The population for this study consists of two thousand three hundred and eighty eight (2,388). The sampling technique used in this study was simple random sampling technique. The researcher therefore recommended that mentorship should be encouraged in school so that mentors will know and meets the needs of the students and hence encourage and improve the relationship between the teachers and students, qualified and sound minded teachers should be employed in order to develop, nurture and maintain good relationship between the teachers and students, seminar or workshop should be organized at least once or twice in a year for teachers in order to enlighten them more on how to relate, communication and associate with their students, teachers should try and reinforce their students positively whenever they answer questions correctly or wrongly.






1.1 Background Of The Study

An ever-changing world seeks advancement in every aspect of life including education. Since it is recognized that the level of education in the developed world is far higher than in the developing countries, it stands to reason that education has an important role to play in the evolution of developing countries. Our present education system indicates that knowledge should be disseminated by the teacher to students. This means that teachers select subject materials, textbooks and references, design the framework of the subject, conceptualize, analyze and synthesize the subject matter and present it face-to-face to students .

Meyer & Turner (2002) discussed their findings illustrating the importance of students’ and teachers’ emotions during instructional interactions. They determined that “through studying student-teacher interactions, our conceptualization of what constitutes motivation to learn increasingly has involved emotions as essential to learning and teaching” (p.107). Their results provide support for further study of the inclusion of interpersonal relationships in the instructional setting and to what degree those relationships affect the students’ learning environment. The quality of the relationship between a student and the teacher will result in a greater degree of learning in the classroom according to Downey (2008). Mohrman, Tenkasi, & Mohrman, (2003) assert “lasting change does not result from plans, blueprints, and events, rather change occurs 3 through interaction of participants” (p. 321). Strong teacher-student relationships may be one of the most important environmental factors in changing a child’s educational path (Baker, 2006)

Both a student and a teacher should be aware that a school is a place to learn when they enter the school building every day. Apart from this, it is the job of the students as well as the teachers to make sure that the relationship the two have is a good one. If a student is constantly giving a teacher a rough time about everything, the student cannot have a good relationship with the teacher. The student-teacher relationship is like a bridge that connects knowledge, experience and efficiency of a teacher to bring out the potentiality of a student with his/her aspirations. The distance between the two should be the distance we cross the bridge. Apart from the syllabus allotted to the students, the teachers should give information about the critical society in which they are living. For this, they should not be confined themselves to the work of completing their allotted portions but they are supposed to introduce the students to a wider knowledge of the world in which they are living.

In any interactive process, the use of a human approach plays a major role in success. Education is one such process, the success of which is influenced by student–teacher relationship. In other words, this relationship is an essential component of the teaching and learning process. The teacher’s success in facilitating learning is directly related to the quality of that relationship (Postman and Weingarten 1969; Tiberius, 1986; Tiberius and Billson, 1991).

According to Birch & Ladd, 1997; Klem & Connell, 2004, it is stated that teachers who experience close relationships with students reported that their students were less likely to avoid school, appeared more selfdirected, more supportive, and more engaged in learning. The communication between the student and the teacher serves a connection between the two and which provides a better atmosphere for a classroom environment. A teacher then needs to understand the value of the students’ senses of belonging which can be of greater value to overall development of the students in all aspects irrespective of the racial confrontations. By making a student like the school, he/she reaps important social advantages such as building friendship, gaining respect for peers and adults and learning social skills. These side by side help the student get good academic records and performance. The student-teacher relationship is made strong by the teachers’ inspiring the students to interact constructively in the classroom situations. The teacher should behave in such a way that a student should love him/her with respect. As (Montalvo, Mansfield & Miller, 2007) have suggested, adults often assume that children like school due to the opportunities it offers for peer interaction. Although previous studies support that notion, research also indicates that certain teacher traits serve as strong indicators of students’ like or dislike for school. In addition, findings indicate that students attain better grades in classes taught by their teachers they like. The more teachers know about their students, the better the rapport the teacher has with them and the more likely they are to benefit from the teachers’ experience of the world. This teaching is inherently interactive because it depends on interacting with active, growing minds (Tiberius, 1986; Tiberius and Billson, 1991).

The relationship between a student and a teacher, if it is to be maximally productive, must be a sign of certain attitudes and commitments of each to the other. The students must reflect their teacher and hold them in the highest esteem, because this is a necessary pre-requisite to accepting his advice. The student must believe the teacher’s concern. The student must believe that the teacher always has his/her best interests in mind. If the student would sense some ulterior motive, some self-interest, or even carelessness in the teacher’s instruction, he/she would not be able to surrender whole heartedly to the teachers’ advice, and this would make entire relationship meaningless. The student must commit himself/herself to following the instruction with utmost discipline because only then can the intended effect be realized. Just as a doctor’s orders must be followed precisely, since failure to do so could cause more harm than good, so a teacher’s “prescription” must be obeyed with equal conscientiousness. A teacher also has three levels of responsibility to his students in relation to giving advice. Initially a teacher should fulfil the prerequisite of getting to know his/her students individually to probe the innermost depths of their hearts as well as examining the outer details of their lives.


1.2  Statement Of The Problem

The poor achievement of primary school pupils in examinations in recent times have become a thing of worry to parents, educators, researchers and the government. This ugly incident of pupils’ poor academic achievement is lingering, despite all the efforts of the government in ensuring that qualitative education is provided at the primary school level, for instance, The minimum qualification for primary school teachers has been upgraded by the government to National Certificate in Education (NCE), school facilities and infrastructure has equally been improved as well as funding, such that free education has been provided to public primary schools through Universal Basic Education (UBE)  program. Despite these efforts, pupils’ achievement continues to decline. Moreover, it has been observed that in recent times, most pupils are having low self-esteem, resulting to learning disability and disciplinary problems. These pupils lack confidence in themselves and in their ability to perform well in the examinations. This could be attributable to the rampant examination malpractices in the country. In the bid to finding possible solution to this issue of pupils’ poor academic achievement and low self-esteem, researchers have embarked on series of studies. Evidence from some of the literature suggests that one of the essential determinants of success or failure in education is the style of communication which a teacher adopts in the classroom teaching and learning and also the types of mutual relationship that exist between the teacher and the students. Research in western nations like Britain and America seem to be conclusive that teachers’ communication styles influence self-esteem and academic achievement. However, the extent to which such teachers’ communication styles (assertive, passive and aggressive) influence Nigerian pupils’ self-esteem and academic achievement is not very clear. Therefore, the problem of this study posed as a question is: what is the influence of the type of relationship that exist between teacher and students and academic achievement of primary school pupils?


1.3 Purpose of the Study                     

  • The extent to which teacher-students relationship can be encourage in the classroom.
  • The extent to which teachers reinforce the students in their classroom.
  • The extent to which teachers allow student freedom in the class.
  • The extent to which teachers use leisure time to engage the student in a friendly chat.


1.4 Research Questions

  1. To what extent can we encourage students-teachers relationships in the classroom?
  2. To what extent do teachers reinforce the students in their class?
  3. To what extent do teachers allow students freedom in their class?
  4. To what extent do teachers use leisure time to engage the students in a friendly chat?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This study will be useful to the parents, curriculum developers and policy makers, teachers, students and researchers. Findings of this study when published will give curriculum developers and policy makers the insight on the influence of teacher-students communication styles and mutual relationship on pupils’ self-esteem and academic achievement.


1.6 Scope Of The Study

The study examined Impact of teacher-student relationship on academic performance of senior secondary students . This research covers the entire primary school pupils in Enugu North local government area of Enugu  state.


1.7 Delimitation Of The Study

The major problem faced during this research is time, the researcher has limited time to complete the research and also insufficient fund to finance the project also to visit more one local government.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

Students: a person who is studying at a university or other place of higher education

Teacher: a person who teaches, especially in a school

Relationship: the way in which two or more people or things are connected,

Effect: a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause

Self Esteem: confidence in one’s own worth or abilities;

Academic Achievement:  the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals


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