Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Else Bengaard Skibsted

Educating teachers focusing on the development of reflective and relational competences

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleCommunication

  • Elsebeth Jensen, VIA University College, Aarhus, Denmark
  • Else Bengaard Skibsted
  • Mette Vedsgaard Christensen, VIA University College, Denmark
A comprehensive research review carried out on behalf of the Norwegian Ministry of Education in 2008 concluded that the competence to establish and maintain good teacher–student relations is a central and important one for a teacher in today’s schools. Together with teaching competence and classroom management competence, other competencies that are decisive for learning outcomes include the teacher’s knowledge of and ability to establish relations, to feel empathy, respect and tolerance, and to take an interest in the students and their potential. Nordenbo and colleagues’ findings correspond with the results from other meta-studies, and hence, research quite unanimously concludes that relations matter. However, a closer definition and breakdown into concrete skills is impeded not only at theoretical and definitional levels, but also at a practical level. How can relational competence be described theoretically? And can relational competence be learnt and trained in the context of teacher education at all? In a current development and research project of the Bachelor Degree Programme for Teacher Education in Aarhus, Denmark, we investigate the development of relational competence in both theory and practice. The project is organised and carried out in cooperation between student teachers, teacher educators, qualified teachers and researchers, and this conceptual paper explains the theoretical ideas, implications and perspectives as well as the overall aims and the structure of the project. After a brief introduction to the organisational context, The Danish Teacher Education, the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of the project are explained. The project’s overall aim is to break new ground in pedagogical research and teacher education, and the goal is to contribute to the development of theoretical knowledge within this academic field, so that relational competence can be understood and taught as part of ongoing development of teacher’s professional competence.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Research for Policy and Practice
Volume14
Issue3
Pages (from-to)201-212
Number of pages12
ISSN1570-2081
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

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