The educational system in the United States was hampered by chronic conditions, challenges, and consequences. These problems created a negative impact on learning and some students and teachers became disconnected and isolated. Conversely, certain education for sustainability theories and practices, 21st century approaches to learning, and relationship trust building practices for schools and classrooms demonstrated that connecting and relating with students was natural and enhanced learning. The action research study conducted to inform this dissertation was designed to investigate how educators connected and related with one another and their students. Through interviews, anecdote circle discussions, and a study survey the data collected produced evidence that connecting and relating in schools and classrooms required teacher interest, teacher readiness, leadership support, and an investment in training and resources. Through the analysis and synthesis there was a discovery of what relationships meant to learning, and what it meant to commit, support, and invest in relationship and trust building practices. The research study presented findings that corroborated education for sustainability mindsets and 21st century approaches to learning that considered relationships a key ingredient in developing trust and sustaining community. Study participants concluded that a close examination of relationship building practices led to increased interest, awareness, readiness, support, investment, and opportunities to measure the value of connecting and relating. Recommendations for future research and practice were made to continue collecting data from educators and to provide opportunities for practicing relational and sustainable habits and behaviors in schools and classrooms to learn more about the value and benefits of building relationships.
|Commitee:||Affolter, Emily, Rooklyn, Dale, Medrick, Rick|
|Department:||Education / Sustainability Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI 81/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Sustainability, Educational leadership, Educational sociology|
|Keywords:||Education, Learning, Relationships and trust, Schools and classrooms, Students and teachers, Sustainable|
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