The third aspect of effective classroom management, after rules and procedures and disciplinary interventions, is teacher-student relationships. One might make the case that teacher-student relationships are the keystone for the other factors. If a teacher has a good relationship with students, then students more readily accept the rules and procedures and the disciplinary actions that follow their violations. Without the foundation of a good relationship, students commonly resist rules and procedures along with the consequent disciplinary actions. Again, this makes good intuitive sense.
The results of my meta-analysis for teacherstudent relationships are reported in Figure 4.1. What is perhaps most striking about the findings is not the average effect size of –.869 (which is sizable and impressive in itself), but the extremely large effect sizes for the middle school/junior high level and the upper elementary level. (Note that data were not available to compute an average effect size for the primary level.) I should caution that if more studies of the impact of teacher-student relationships on student behavior were available, these large average effect sizes would probably go down. They are simply much larger than are commonly found in the social sciences. Nevertheless, it makes sense that teacher-student relationships would be extremely important to students below the high school level and, therefore, would have a profound impact on student behavior.
Along with the meta-analytic evidence of the importance of teacher-student relationships is the more perceptual evidence. To illustrate, in a study involving 68 high school students, 84 percent said that disciplinary