Relationships in the Classroom

Teaching and learning are inherently social acts. Ask anyone about their most impactful educational experience and you will hear stories about teachers who cared, teachers who inspired, and teachers who expected more. These anecdotal stories are overwhelmingly borne out by research: students with more positive teacher-student relationships attain a myriad of more desirable outcomes than their counterparts with less positive relationships. I design and test interventions that improve teacher-student relationships, and explore the downstream impact on motivational and academic outcomes.


Relevant Work


2019. “Taking it to the next level: A field experiment to improve instructor-student relationships in college” (with Whitney Scott & Michael Gottfried), AERA Open, 5(1), 1-15.


2018. “Questionnaires as interventions: can taking a survey increase teachers’ openness to student feedback surveys?” (with Hunter Gehlbach, Ilana Finefter-Rosenbluh, Chris Benshoof & Jack Schneider), Educational Psychology, 38(3), 350-367.


2016. “Commentary: The Foundational Role of Teacher-Student Relationships” (with Hunter Gehlbach), In K.Wentzel & G. Ramani (Eds.), Social Influences on Social-Emotional, Motivation, and Cognitive Outcomes in School Contexts, 230-238. United Kingdom: Informa.


Public Writing & Press


2016. “Creating birds of a feather: The potential of similarity to connect teachers and students” (with Hunter Gehlbach), Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute.


Harvard’s Usable Knowledge. “Making Student Feedback Work.”