Inclusive Classroom: Teacher - Student relationships

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


This article reports the findings of a Finnish socio-psychological research project aiming to promote equality among students with diverse sociopsychological, cognitive or social needs (Erasmus+ project Inclusive Education: Socio-psychological, Educational and Social Aspects, SPESA). It describes teacher-student relationships in an inclusive classroom. It aims to identify the main elements of inclusive practices, and how they are influenced by interpersonal interactions. The study employed an ethnographic approach: the researchers visited two primary school classrooms, where they observed lessons and interviewed students, parents and teachers. Teachers also kept pedagogical journals to record their reflections. The findings indicate that the relationship between teachers and students is the cornerstone of inclusive education. The teachers displayed respect for individuality through encouragement, social engagement, sensitivity and approachability. They also emphasised the sense of community by organising social activities, enhancing social skills, promoting ethical dialogues appreciating diversity, and empowering their students. These findings exemplify that to be successful, inclusive pedagogy does not necessarily require large investments in the student/teacher ratio, study materials, equipment, and other resources. Rather, the key factor is that teachers are willing to support their students based on individual needs, and promote a sense of belonging to the school community. KEYWORDS: Inclusive education, Classroom relationships, Students’ diversity, Students’ school welfare, Ethnography.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSearch and Research: Teacher education for contemporary context
EditorsJuanjo Mena, Ana García-Valcárcel, Francisco José García-Peñalvo, Marta Martín Del Pozo
Place of PublicationSalamanca
PublisherEdiciones Universidad de Salamanca
ISBN (Electronic)978-84-9012-769-8
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2017
MoEC publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Association on Teachers and Teaching: Search and Research - University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
Duration: 3 Jul 20177 Jul 2017

Publication series



ConferenceInternational Association on Teachers and Teaching: Search and Research
Internet address

Field of science

  • General education

Citation for this output