Research Topic

The Role of Teacher Interpersonal Variables in Students’ Academic Engagement, Success, and Motivation

About this Research Topic

The engagement of students with their academic undertakings and the motivation to pursue their studies play indispensable roles in their academic learning, achievement, and success. The concept of student academic engagement covers all aspects of students’ engagement and involvement with their academic undertakings, such as the degree of effort that they put into studying, the degree of dedication that they have for their school or class-related works, and the level of energy and enthusiasm that they have for pursuing their studies. Moreover, student motivation provides the primary impetus for students to follow their academic goals and undertakings.

As teachers are one of the most decisive stakeholders within the educational context, who can make a significant difference in their students’ perceptions, beliefs, actions, and outcomes, the issue of how teachers can impact their students’ academic outcomes is thus highly pertinent. We focus on how teachers’ communication and interpersonal behaviors contribute to their students’ academic engagement, success, and motivation. What teacher interpersonal variables lead to high or low student engagement, success, and motivation? What processes underpin such teacher effects? How can teacher education and training programs make a significant stride toward preparing teachers who can effectively build good, positive interpersonal relationships with their students?

To address these critical concerns, the aim of this Research Topic is to bring together innovative, high-quality research studies that aim to uncover any potential teacher interpersonal variables that are contributing to or hindering a high level of students’ engagement, success, and motivation.

Teacher interpersonal behaviors cover a wide range of positive and negative teacher variables which may include but are not restricted to:

- Teacher caring
- Teacher feedback
- Teacher praise
- Teacher stroke
- Teacher criticism
- Teacher misbehavior
- Teacher aggression
- Teacher resilience
- Teacher burnout
- Teacher communication style
- Teacher-student rapport
- Teacher immediacy
- Teacher credibility
- Students’ identity construction and engagement
- The emotional quality of student-teacher interactions
- Teacher’s attention to and relationship with specific students or student groups

In this Research Topic, we are looking forward to receiving theoretical papers, original empirical studies, critical commentaries, and systematic reviews on the topic. Furthermore, we welcome studies that try to introduce effective and innovative strategies and techniques with the aim of improving teachers’ intervention and instructional practices.

We are also eager to receive papers that attempt to improve teacher education and training programs by seeking to enhance teachers’ ability to deal effectively with their students in order to promote students’ academic engagement, success, and motivation. In terms of research design, we are interested in receiving studies of large-scale quantitative nature, in-depth qualitative nature, and mixed methods research. Experimental studies focusing on examining the effectiveness of the treatment interventions of interest are also highly welcomed.

To collect the data of their studies, researchers may utilize data collection instruments such as scale, interview, observation checklist, narrative writing, journal writing, or diary writing. Finally, cross-cultural studies of the topic are encouraged as such studies may unveil insightful findings regarding how the same teacher’s interpersonal behaviors may be interpreted differently by different cultural groups, and as a consequence, bring about different student engagement, motivation, and success outcomes.


Keywords: Student academic engagement, teacher interpersonal behaviors, teacher-student relationships, teacher practices, interpersonal variables


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The engagement of students with their academic undertakings and the motivation to pursue their studies play indispensable roles in their academic learning, achievement, and success. The concept of student academic engagement covers all aspects of students’ engagement and involvement with their academic undertakings, such as the degree of effort that they put into studying, the degree of dedication that they have for their school or class-related works, and the level of energy and enthusiasm that they have for pursuing their studies. Moreover, student motivation provides the primary impetus for students to follow their academic goals and undertakings.

As teachers are one of the most decisive stakeholders within the educational context, who can make a significant difference in their students’ perceptions, beliefs, actions, and outcomes, the issue of how teachers can impact their students’ academic outcomes is thus highly pertinent. We focus on how teachers’ communication and interpersonal behaviors contribute to their students’ academic engagement, success, and motivation. What teacher interpersonal variables lead to high or low student engagement, success, and motivation? What processes underpin such teacher effects? How can teacher education and training programs make a significant stride toward preparing teachers who can effectively build good, positive interpersonal relationships with their students?

To address these critical concerns, the aim of this Research Topic is to bring together innovative, high-quality research studies that aim to uncover any potential teacher interpersonal variables that are contributing to or hindering a high level of students’ engagement, success, and motivation.

Teacher interpersonal behaviors cover a wide range of positive and negative teacher variables which may include but are not restricted to:

- Teacher caring
- Teacher feedback
- Teacher praise
- Teacher stroke
- Teacher criticism
- Teacher misbehavior
- Teacher aggression
- Teacher resilience
- Teacher burnout
- Teacher communication style
- Teacher-student rapport
- Teacher immediacy
- Teacher credibility
- Students’ identity construction and engagement
- The emotional quality of student-teacher interactions
- Teacher’s attention to and relationship with specific students or student groups

In this Research Topic, we are looking forward to receiving theoretical papers, original empirical studies, critical commentaries, and systematic reviews on the topic. Furthermore, we welcome studies that try to introduce effective and innovative strategies and techniques with the aim of improving teachers’ intervention and instructional practices.

We are also eager to receive papers that attempt to improve teacher education and training programs by seeking to enhance teachers’ ability to deal effectively with their students in order to promote students’ academic engagement, success, and motivation. In terms of research design, we are interested in receiving studies of large-scale quantitative nature, in-depth qualitative nature, and mixed methods research. Experimental studies focusing on examining the effectiveness of the treatment interventions of interest are also highly welcomed.

To collect the data of their studies, researchers may utilize data collection instruments such as scale, interview, observation checklist, narrative writing, journal writing, or diary writing. Finally, cross-cultural studies of the topic are encouraged as such studies may unveil insightful findings regarding how the same teacher’s interpersonal behaviors may be interpreted differently by different cultural groups, and as a consequence, bring about different student engagement, motivation, and success outcomes.


Keywords: Student academic engagement, teacher interpersonal behaviors, teacher-student relationships, teacher practices, interpersonal variables


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

25 October 2020 Abstract
22 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

25 October 2020 Abstract
22 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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