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Optimal Forms of the Teacher–Student Interactions

Teacher and Student

At the present time, in the theory and practice of education, there is a search for the new forms and methods that would create conditions for the formation of a harmoniously developed personality to enhance the efficiency of teaching by some highly qualified specialists. One of the directions of this work is the quest for the effective forms of interaction between the teacher and his or her students.

The purpose of this article is to determine the most productive styles and ways to communicate for a teacher and a student in the educational process.

How Does the Relationship Develop?

What is it: cooperation or confrontation?

The pedagogical communication is a specific form of interaction that has its own characteristics. At the same time, it obeys the general psychological laws inherent in communication as a form of human interaction with other people. The main thing is that the teacher and the student should be in a relationship based on complete trust and respect. If this is not observed, the students are afraid, they become uncertain in themselves and they do not believe in their abilities while working capacity decreases and the speech dynamics get disrupted. Ultimately, a stable negative attitude appears first to the teacher and then – to the subject.

A student attending college undergoes some psychological adjustments leading to a change in his or her emotional life.

Here Are the Three Levers that Change the Student’s Emotional Being:

  • change of the position (was a pupil, now – a student);
  • reorganization of the level of claims and the formation of the adequate self-esteem;
  • change in the perspective and outlooks.

A style of communication can play a great role in preventing conflicts. As such, the word «style» is defined as follows: the characteristic manner of behavior, the method of activity or the totality of the methods of any work. This determines the specifics of the interaction of the teacher with all students in the process of a pedagogical activity.

Traditional Styles of Leadership

Strict Leader


High centralization of leadership, the dominance of the one-man management, the sole acceptance or cancellation of decisions.

Basic forms of management: order, instruction, reprimand.


The teacher withdraws, taking the position of an outside observer.

Basic forms of management: exhortations, entreaties.


The decisions are made based on the opinion of the team while taking all individual characteristics into account.

Basic forms of management: requests, advice, information, the inclusion of everybody in active work.

Classification allows you to expand the perception of the issue.

Let us Consider the Five Basic Styles of Leadership:

  • the autocratic leadership occurs when the teacher carries out the individual management of the team of his or her students while not allowing them to express their views and criticisms; he or she consistently makes demands and exercises strict control over their implementation;
  • the authoritarian style allows pupils to participate in the discussion of issues of the educational or collective life, but the teacher ultimately makes the decision in accordance with their attitudes;
  • the democratic principles presuppose the teacher’s attention and consideration of the students’ opinions to understand them, to convince them – not to order them around; he or she conducts dialogical communication on an equal footing;
  • the ignoring style is characterized by the fact that the tutor aspires to interfere as little as possible in the life and activity of all students, being practically eliminated from the management, only delving in the formal fulfillment of the duties of transferring all educational and administrative information;
  • the inconsistent leadership is when the professor, depending on some external circumstances and his or her own emotional state, implements any of the above styles which leads to complete disorganization and situational system of the relationship with all students.

The style of leadership chosen by the teacher dictates not only the relationship that he or she will have with students, but also the attitude of the subordinates towards gaining knowledge, the educational process and directly to the tutor. The educator’s usage of ineffective methods of interaction with the tutee leads to an ineffective learning where students often receive superficial data. This can lead to the fact that teaching will not be of an educational nature and will not form a stable need for new information.

The way of communication between the pedagogue and his or her pupils is determined by the degree of preparedness, his or her interest in the success of the students, the objectivity in assessing all knowledge. In turn, the undergraduate should respect this work and observe the distance in communication with his or her superiors. Thus, we can conclude that there is a need to further study the problem of the communicative interaction between the teacher and the students, the solution to which may contribute to improving the general quality of education.

The style of contact depends directly on the type of teaching. Its form is the organized interaction of the instructor and the pupil. The main thing here is the nature of the dialogue between them in the process of gaining comprehension and skills. The existing ways of teaching are: independent work of students (under the supervision and without it), lecture, seminar, practical lesson in the classroom (workshop), excursion, production practice, consultation, test, exam, etc. They can be aimed both at the theoretical preparation (for example, a lecture, a seminar, an excursion, a conference, a round table, a consultation, different types of independent work of the students) and practical application (workshop classes, different types of design (course work or thesis) of all types of practice).

There are Three Kinds of Methods of Communication

  • passive;
  • active;
  • interactive

The Passive Method

It is a form of interaction between a teacher and a student, in which the tutor is the main actor and the manager of the process of the lesson, and the pupils act as passive listeners subject to the directives. The dialogue between all of them with the help of this method is carried out through the surveys, quizzes, tests, etc. From the point of view of the modern pedagogical technologies and the effectiveness of mastering the learning material by the students, the passive type is ineffective, but in spite of this, it still has some advantages. It offers a relatively easy process of preparation for the lesson and the opportunity to present a rather large number of teaching material in a limited time of the lesson.

The Active Method

This is a form of cooperation in which everyone interacts with each other during the lesson. In addition to that, the undergraduates are not just passive listeners here. Instead, they are all active participants. Both the teacher and the students are on an equal footing. If the previous way of handling a class assumed an authoritarian style, this one is more like a democratic style.

Many people do not know the differences between the active and interactive methods. However, despite the commonality, they do have their own diversity. As such, the latter can be considered to be the most modern form of the former.

The Interactive Method


It provokes to interact, be in a conversation mode, have a dialogue with someone. In other words, unlike the active ones, interactive students are oriented towards a wider cooperation – not only with the professor, but also with each other. It depends on the dominance of the learners’ activity in the process. The tutor’s place in this kind of classes is reduced to the proper direction of all activities to achieve the aims of the lesson. He or she also develops a specific plan (usually interactive exercises and assignments, in the process of which the tutees study the material).

Interactive teaching is a special form of organizing all cognitive activity. It implies some quite specific and predictable goals. The target is to create a comfortable environment in which the student or a simple listener feels successful. That, in turn, makes the learning process more productive.

The teacher leads the participants to the independent search. Such activity gives way to the eagerness of the students. Hence, his or her task is to create suitable conditions for their initiative. Therefore, interactive teaching is initially intended to be used in the intensive schooling of the sufficiently adult learners.

It is not ruled out that in the out-of-class exercises, relationships between the superior and the subordinates are established to satisfy both sides of the process, allowing them to achieve positive results. Nevertheless, during the academic course itself (especially during the seminars, workshops, laboratory classes) the professor can change the style of communication, for instance, from democratic to authoritarian. And although in some cases this is justified, in general, it may cause a negative emotional response among the students during the classes which negatively affects the learning results. Thus, if we consider the educational process as the cooperation of the teacher and the students during a particular learning activity, neither of them is going to be satisfied with the outcome. An experienced and competent educator should understand that this is a problem that he or she needs to find some ways to solve.

Individual Work with the Students

Nowadays, much attention is paid to the individual work with the pupils. It is worth mentioning that the pedagogical interaction may be a good representative of such a unit of the procedures. It assumes the development of the personal qualities of the pedagogue and all undergraduates on the basis of equality in communication and partnership in the joint beginnings. The scope and depth of such activity is determined by the age and personality. Productive interaction is built on the basis of the dialogic communication. In the process of this kind of an exchange, understanding is achieved at the level of establishing a single semantic space. Hence, it is a reciprocal action of two people who create a unified attitude to one or another or an object of reality which is significant for both interlocutors. This is a situation of the bilateral impact that implies an active role of all parties. Cooperation and co-creation, both of which that take place during a conversation presuppose rejection of the position that your opinion is the only correct one. Instead, it suggests the approval of a different type of relationship: mutual search, principled, but benevolent analysis of the results.

This way, the essence of it is the recognition of each other’s uniqueness by both partners, their mutual fairness according to the difference and originality of the presented points of view, the orientation of each to an understanding and active interpretation of his or her point of view by the partner.

The Conclusion

To sum up all of the above, we can conclude that the quality of our education can be improved not only by the innovative methods and technologies of teaching aimed at the process of creative activity and the initiative of all students, but also by the optimal choice of styles and forms of cooperation between the participants. With the transition of our society to the information age, the educator must skillfully manage the situations of training while remaining an authority and an example for imitation. And in many respects, this issue helps to establish the properly arranged relationships between the teachers and their students.

Time and life do not stand still. The role of the tutor is changing constantly. What is more, the requirements for the profession are evolving as well, and the demands can be met only through the development of one’s personal qualities and professional competence. When everyone dedicates enough time to self-development while remaining open to the new opinions, it is possible to achieve some qualitative results in both teaching and upbringing.

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