Magazine article USA TODAY

Students Prefer Regular Teacher over Outsiders

Magazine article USA TODAY

Students Prefer Regular Teacher over Outsiders

Article excerpt

When it comes to learning life-changing behaviors in high school health classes, the identity of the person teaching may be even more important than the curriculum, suggests a study by Ohio State University, Columbus, and the University of Kentucky, Lexington.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

For years, many high schools around the country have been relying on outside specialists to teach sensitive subjects such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and pregnancy prevention. Yet, this study found that students learn more about such issues when taught by their regular classroom teachers--someone they know and trust. "The actual person teaching makes a difference in how students learn," relates Eric Anderman, professor of educational psychology at OSU.

"When there is a good relationship, that really facilitates learning and motivation. We found that, in almost every area, the regular classroom teachers were more effective; they were better."

Strong student-teacher relationships have been linked to many positive outcomes, including better behavior in classrooms and improvement in learning. Because of the established relationship teachers have with their students, it may be easier for adolescents to talk with and learn from someone who already knows them as individuals. …

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