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Research Article
Open Access Peer-reviewed

The Level of Acquaintance of the Teacher with His Students and the Quality of the Relationship between Them in Elementary Schools of the Arab Minority in Israel

Jamal Abu-Hussain
American Journal of Educational Research. 2022, 10(5), 304-312. DOI: 10.12691/education-10-5-6
Received April 05, 2022; Revised May 07, 2022; Accepted May 15, 2022

Abstract

The purpose of the study is to examine the relationship between the teacher's acquaintance with his students and the teacher-student relationship in elementary schools of the Arab minority in Israel. The teacher's acquaintance with his students and the quality of teacher-student relations and their contribution to the emotional well-being of the child present an important and vital challenge to the Arab education system in Israel, especially in light of the inherent exclusion and discrimination of the State of Israel's institutions vis-à-vis this education system over the years. Many studies speak of the importance of the teacher's acquaintance with his students and the impact of this acquaintance on the nature of their relationship, which engenders the well-being of the students and their success in their studies at school. The subjects of this study are teachers and students from the elementary schools in the Arab education system in Israel, selected in a random sample, which included 100 teachers and 150 students from grades 5 to 6. The research tools are two questionnaires: “The teacher's acquaintance with the student”, for the teachers; and “The teacher and I”, for the students. Analysis of the findings was conducted using SPSS software. The findings revealed that, in elementary schools, the Arab teacher's level of recognition of the personal, economic and social situation of his students is high. No distinct positive correlation was found between the level of the teacher's acquaintance with his pupils and the quality and level of their relationship. There were significant differences in the Arab teacher’s acquaintance with his students and in the teacher-student relationship, in relation to background variables of the teachers. These differences will be enlarged on later.

1. Introduction

It is generally agreed that teachers constitute a critical link in the education process and in influencing student achievement. Most research literature indicates that creating a positive and high-quality teacher-student relationship improves student achievement 1, 2, 3. The role of the teacher is dominant in the teacher-student interaction equation, by virtue of him being an authority regarding knowledge and communication skills 1. In principle, it is agreed by many researchers, that the development of a trust relationship with the student is perceived as part and parcel of the teacher's professional responsibility, and is important for the student's success in his studies, for increasing his personal motivation and his acclimatization in school.

The Policy of the Ministry of Education does not “speak” in the language of relationships and emotional connection between teachers and students, but rather in the language of educational functioning, instrumental conduct in the school and regulation of the teacher's work. In the Ministry of Education’s publications, there is no mention of any meeting, discourse or contact that might lead to a trusting relationship between a teacher and his students, as one of the duties and responsibilities of the educator or professional teacher at the school 4. The approach in Israel to the relationship on social networks, between teachers and students, is considered negative 5, while education systems in other countries encourage teachers to engage with students according to certain rules; and the relationship via the digital media with students affects teacher-student relationships in a positive way 6. There is no emphasis in the education system for meeting, discourse and contact that would lead to a trusting relationship between a teacher and his student as one of his duties and responsibilities as an educator or teacher 7.

Among many students in Israel's Arab education system, there are negative memories of failure and risk. It is necessary to replace these negative memories with experiences of success and satisfaction. This is an ongoing process that requires the teacher to have patience, perseverance and flexibility. Replacing negative memories with success experiences increases the student's motivation to dare and experience diverse educational situations.

The various studies that examined Arab education focused on two spheres: output (product), as opposed to input (investment), without setting appropriate policies adapted for improving the Arab education system, considering its uniqueness and characteristics, and without improving the parameters that stabilize the issue of the teacher-student relationship and the child's well-being, and investing in resources that would contribute to this relationship; so that the gaps have only widened 8. The learning environment in the Arab school is characterized by the following: the teacher is in front, facing the class, and the students sit at desks, the main teaching tools being a blackboard, a textbook, a notebook and writing implements; and the dialogue between the teacher and the students is conducted in the form of: question-response-feedback 9. This description reflects the traditional learning environment that has been widely criticized as an approach that limits knowledge and learning processes 10.

These teachers, operating under conditions of inequality in resources and in physical and digital infrastructure 8, 11 and who focus on the outcome, and function within a discriminatory and excluded education system, will not be interested or take into account the teacher-student relationship, or in fostering this relationship and enhancing it for well-being of the student. This reality has resulted in almost 60% of the students in elementary schools in the Arab education system achieving poorly, relative to students in the Jewish education system and are defined as students in exclusion and at risk 12.

The study examined the teacher's level of acquaintance with his students and the teacher-student relationship in the Arab education system in Israel, an education system that functions within a society of a discriminated and excluded minority with characteristics different from western societies in structure, composition and nature of its attitude toward individualism and individual rights.

2. Review of Literature

The achievements of students in the Arab education system in the Meitzav exams and in the international exams in the various subjects are low in all subjects by national comparison 12. In the international tests, there is a consistent large gap – a whole academic year – in favor of the Jewish students compared with their Arab counterparts 12. Years of neglect, mismanagement, and inefficient and unprofessional involvement of state institutions in the Arab education system, resulted in the group of children and youth in exclusion and at risk in the Arab education system becoming so large that now it has become a very significant educational, humanitarian, and social problem 9, 13.

In recent decades, the professional literature has been discussing the significance of the preparations of the education system for coping with the postmodern world. In this world, information is constantly changing and the authority of knowledge does not necessarily lie with the teacher. The coping that is preoccupying the world concerns primarily technological aspects (command of the media, on-line instruction, technical aids in teaching). It has not dealt with the growing importance of emotional relationships in the changing world. At the same time, these insights into the significance of the emotional connection between the teacher and the student are leading to the development of pedagogy in the training of teachers around the world, pedagogy that teaches budding teacher skills in the realm of communication with, and listening to, students. The educational study, which deals with teacher training, emphasizes the systemic need for effective teachers, and points out that the teacher's responsibility lies both in his relationship with the student “face-to-face” as well as in the relationship with the significant environment for the student – his parents and other family members 14, 15, 16.

Studies point to a process and sense of exclusion – both of students and teachers – as a reason for much of the failures of the education system 13, 17. The Arab teacher is excluded as a result of the exclusion and discrimination policies of state institutions, and at the same time feels exclusion and risk by working with students in exclusion and at risk.

Teachers in Arab schools are required to deal with about 60% of students with behaviors on the risk continuum, and despite the fact that most of these students have potential in the realm of the norm, most of them are considered underachievers: they are often absent from school, many have behavioral difficulties, are afflicted with a sense of severe failure and a sense of alienation towards the school and those representing it. As a result of this reality, the management and teaching staff are, to a large extent, at risk. Many of them, like their students, experience a severe sense of professional and personal failure, as well as prolonged professional loneliness and alienation 18, 19, 20.

The research literature, for the most part, emphasizes the importance of a positive and high-quality teacher-student relationship, with the focus on the quality of the teacher-student's relationship as a function of the teacher's acquaintance with his student. The teacher-student relationship depends on the principles of the psychosocial educational concept, consisting of three main characteristics: a personal educational relationship, optimal affinity relationships, and pedagogical relationships. Adapting this concept is essential for school teachers for creating viable educational responses for students in exclusion and at risk. 17, 21, 22.

The education system is fundamentally a dynamic and active system that focuses on the interpersonal relationship. Due to the organizational structure of the school, it creates various and numerous dynamics and interactions between the teacher and student; therefore, if the student receives personal and encouraging treatment from his educators, he will be able to overcome the many obstacles preventing him from realizing his abilities. The teacher's acquaintance with, and closeness to, his student stimulates good and positive communication, and creating a supportive environment by familiarization with the emotional-personal, interpersonal and family deprivations suffered by the students, can help to address the complex educational task 13.

2.1. Teacher Acquaintance with Student

Various studies show that the teacher's acquaintance with his student is reflected in multi-faceted aspects; such as acquaintance with his social and economic situation and understanding the totality of factors that influence his behavior or diligence in his studies. In the context of these factors, the interactions between teachers and students stimulate student engagement in learning and improves their social, emotional and educational development 1, 2, 23.

Arab society, in view of its unique characteristics, notably the strong family, clan, social and economic ties that characterize it, more so than in Jewish society and other Western societies, may cause the teacher's acquaintance with the student's personal, economic and social situation to be greater than in western societies 8, 24.

Arab citizens in general, and teachers in particular, know each other in most social, economic and personal aspects, especially when the teacher is from the same village, and there is a social, family, political and sometimes economic interaction, which does not exist in individualistic Western societies 24. Does this acquaintance of teachers with their students come to practical expression in order to improve the relationship between teachers and students?

2.2. Teacher-student Relationships

Teacher-student relationships can be divided into three main realms: the emotional realm, based on the communication theory and the self-determination theory; the organizational realm, which is the realm in which teachers organize behavior, time and attention; and the teaching realm, in which the teacher distinguishes between learning facts and acquiring knowledge for their use 25.

Significant teacher-student relationships affect a wide range of student achievements, and include both advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage is that the teacher can be a source of encouragement and support and endow basic self-confidence, while the main disadvantage is in the student's emotional dependence on the teacher, which can cause disappointment and distress. According to the testimony of students of various ages, they long for an emotional, warm and loving connection with the teacher 1, 7, 22, 25.

Studies have found that interpersonal relationships that cause a sense of belonging, as a source of motivation, are very powerful in school 2. In addition, positive attitudes, such as empathy, or the teacher's interest in the student, listening to his problems and opinions and giving him undivided attention, can affect the student's learning. Teacher-student contact has a positive effect; it creates among students: educational insight, a positive feeling, strong drive and focus on the required task. The quality of the momentary interaction and the positive relationship between teacher and student can influence student behaviors 21, 27.

A study that was based on a large database taken from the U.S. Wisconsin Center for Education Research and Reform between 1990 and 1995, which included 1,846 elementary school students and 2,430 secondary school students, showed a strong relationship of 0.81 between the teacher's support and the achievements of students in elementary schools, from the teacher's point of view, and 0.71 from the student's point of view, and 0.87 and 0.77, respectively, in secondary schools 28.

A study of the teacher-student relationship in the 8th grade in two different schools, in the District of Nebraska, USA, showed that students have similar attitudes towards their teachers, and that the teacher is the most important link in creating contact with his students. Analysis of the results in the study showed a clear link between the performance of the students and the quality of their relationships with the teacher at the school in the affluent neighborhood, while the teacher was more influential in shaping the personal lives of his students at the school in the poorer neighborhood. The study also showed that the teacher's most important qualities, in the eyes of students, focused on his personal qualities: willingness to help; to be attentive to their problems; and the use of games in teaching. The important conclusion of the study was that the quality of the teacher-student relationships, as conceived by the students, depends on the teacher's ability to listen to them, encourage them and create a fun and challenging atmosphere in the classroom 29.

The studies of Klem and Connel 28 showed clear linkage between teacher-to-student support and student performance at the elementary school stage. The students who received comprehensive support from the teachers showed greater willingness to participate in lessons almost three times more than students who had not received their teacher’s support.

In a qualitative study, which collected a variety of interviews with students, both Jews and Arabs, from elementary and secondary schools for four years, the students referred to the teacher and their attitude to him. The study showed that 57% of students, Jews and Arabs alike, referred to the human aspect regarding teachers, students and teacher-student relationships.

A study by Kadri 30 which was conducted in high schools in Algeria, showed a positive relationship between the behavior of students and the teacher's attitude towards them (r = 0.93), especially with respect to his acquaintance with their natural tendencies and their personal situation. Additionally, there was a positive correlation between teacher seniority and the quality of his relationships with his students.

2.3. The Level of the Teacher's Acquaintance with the Student and the Level of Their Relationship

According to the psychosocial approach, in terms of the interpersonal relationship, having good and meaningful relationships with adults is at the heart of a person's growth and development. From this perspective, the teacher is the “significant other person” who mobilizes students to realize themselves and their destiny 22. When optimal closeness of the students to the teacher is formed, so that he can get to know his students well, it allows them to connect with him as an authoritarian adult capable of taking care of their needs. The transition from risk to opportunity within the confines of the school evolves through consistent striving for optimal closeness with the students and attentiveness to their entire world – personal, educational, social and family 1.

The more positive the student's perception of the relationship with his teacher is, the higher his academic achievements will be. It was also found that interpersonal relationships that cause a sense of belonging as a source of motivation are very powerful in school 2.

In a study of about 800 Meta-analyses of student achievements, it was found that the main cause of student progress was the teacher-student relationship, and it was also found that this relationship tallies with their high achievements and is reflected in the ongoing encouragement of the student throughout the learning process, empathy, a warm and understanding attitude and stimulating high-order thinking 31.

Meta-analysis was conducted (Cornelius-White) on the subjects of systems of teacher-student relationships. The analysis found that the relationship and dialogue between teacher and student, which provides a personal response to the student and that take place on a current basis, intensifies and increases the degree of a student's involvement in learning and heightens his level of motivation. Special note was made of the impact of the supportive system of relations and empathy for those students showing resistance to learning 32

The relationship of the demographic variables of teachers and students vis-a-vis the level of teacher-student relationships has been reviewed in a number of studies, which have sought to establish a specific correlation between the demographic variables and the quality of a teacher-student relationship.

In a study conducted in Scandinavia on about 825 students in grades 1-7, to examine the impact of closeness and antagonism on teacher-student relationships associated with demographic variables, it was found that there is a strong correlation between teacher-student relationships and the mental health components of students, particularly externalization and distancing, while closeness is influenced by demographic factors of varying degrees. The study's findings recommend increasing the various strategies that encourage closeness and reduce antagonism in teacher-student relationships 33.

The education system should encourage teachers to interact closely with students because of the positive impact this has on teacher-student relationships, which could be reflected in the achievements and emotional stability of the student 7. The student's positive perception of the teacher improves the student's functioning and adaptation in school as a function of the teacher-student relationship (Jini, Mark, Schwartz and Aviezer, 2014). Consequently, it is very important to understand the basic components of the quality of the teacher-student relationship for improving this relationship and its contribution to the student’s emotional well-being 21, 34. The demographic variables of the teacher can affect the quality of the relationship, depending on the cultural and ethnic background of the teacher, and depending on the abilities of the teacher, with his specific personal characteristics, to control the class and be a “good teacher” as perceived by the students 1. There is a clear connection between the performance of the students and the quality of the relationship with the teacher in the school in the affluent neighborhood, while the teacher was more influential in shaping the personal lives of his students at the school in the poor neighborhood 29.

In a study of Palestinian society, they showed that there is a positive role for a positive relationship between the Palestinian teacher and his students in the implementation of reforms and in the social development of his students, but did not find a significant difference, statistically, between the teachers regarding gender and teaching seniority 35. The same result was found in a study of 200 students from Al-Quds University open from West Bank (2003-2004), which did not find a difference or connection between the demographic variables and the student-lecturer relationship of statistical significance, in relation to gender, age, and more 36. Moreover, Alhindi, 37, in his study of the teacher's role in the development of social values with 12th graders in Gaza, found that there was no statistical difference with respect to the student's gender in the subject of the study.

In a qualitative study by Shomoossi, Amouzadeh and Ketabi 38, it was found that the teacher of female gender is perceived as more patient and as allowing students more freedom of speech. Barakat 36, however, in his research on “the role of the teacher in his attitude towards differences among his students, in relation to his various variables”, showed that there is no substantial difference between teachers in their attitude towards their students, deriving from teacher gender, his/her level of education or seniority.

The teacher's perception of the quality of a teacher-to-student relationship is related to the teacher's teaching seniority, and it is very closely related to the sex of the student, which is explained by the fact that female teachers report a better relationship with female students than with male students, and female students report having a better relationship with their female teachers than male students. The student’s perception of his relationship is connected negatively to the years of education of the teacher, and connected positively to the teacher’s seniority, while the student's investment in studies was significantly more positive with the teacher's seniority and negative with the number of years of education of the teacher Jini, Mark and Schwartz 25.

The characteristics of Arab society, as a collective and patriarchal society with the trappings of a developing society, stimulate behaviors of Arab teachers that differ from those of teachers in Western societies. This can find expression in the level of the acquaintance of the Arab teacher with his students, with the social and cultural values of society reflected in the behavior of teachers, thus affecting the level and quality of the teacher-student relationship. The status of the male teacher in Arab society, as an authoritarian individual, not allowed to express emotions such as “crying” for example, or to expose himself and his feelings to the general public, or to his students especially, also contributes to the difficulty in the quality of their relationship. Most studies on the relationship between the teacher and the student indicate that the higher the level of exposure of the teacher to his students, the more positive the interaction and the deeper the acquaintance will be 24.

The unique characteristics of Arab society in Israel, especially in the family, social and economic realms, can render the level and quality of the teacher-student relationship different from other societies 24.

The Arab education system has been under state control for decades and its situation has not improved. This policy reflected a situation of hostility, discrimination, skepticism, and suspicion towards the Arab minority in Israel, a policy that has reduced the role of the minority in determining educational policy in its education system. This policy, in the opinion of many researchers, has resulted in draining Arab education from all Arab national content, underscoring the message that Arabs must abide by the rules established by the Jewish majority and which are in line with the basic national ideology of the state. The education system has served as a means for transmitting this ideology, with Jewish control of management, human resources, resources and content of the education system 8, 39, 40.

In light of the literary review, the following question of the study arises: Does the degree of acquaintance of the teacher with his students, in the education system in Arab society, contribute to the teacher-student relationship in a positive or negative way? And is there a variance between teachers depending on their background variables (gender, level of education and seniority in teaching)? This pioneering study examines for the first time the level of acquaintance and teacher-student relationships in Arab education system in Israel, which functions within a unique reality.

3. Research Methodology

The study is a correlative quantitative study, which examined the relationship between the variables and attempts to find the value of this relationship and its expression in a quantitative way through correlation coefficient α. The goal is to obtain a numerical correlation between the variables in order to examine the statistical reliability of the correlation coefficients and to include the results on all the variables examined.

3.1. Research Participants

The study involved 100 teachers who received the questionnaires. 92 properly filled questionnaires were returned, split between 22% male teachers and 78% female teachers; and from 150 students, 138 properly filled questionnaires were returned, the students being in Grades 5 and 6 in elementary schools in the Arab education system in Israel.

3.2. Research Variables

- Independent variable: the teacher's level of acquaintance with the student from his point of view. The teacher's acquaintance with the student is examined in three categories: social, economic and inclusive acquaintance.

- Dependent variable: The teacher-student relationship level from the perspective of students. The teacher-student relationship is assessed on the basis of three categories – teacher availability, his/her acceptance, or rejection by the student.

- Teachers' background variables: gender, teaching seniority and education.

3.3. The Research Hypotheses

There will be a high level of acquaintance between the Arab teacher and his students.

There will be a distinctly positive relationship between the level of the acquaintance and the level of the teacher-student relationship in the students’ perception.

There will be differences in the level of acquaintance of the teacher with a student as a function of the background variables of the teachers.

3.4. Research Tools

The study was based on two questionnaires, Questionnaire 1: “Teacher's acquaintance with the student” Part 1: The teacher is required to answer background questions and provide personal details, including: seniority in teaching, gender and education. Part 2: Examines the teacher's acquaintance with the student's social, economic and personal situation. The questionnaire includes 8 statements, with the answers on a scale of 4 options: 1-Not true, 2-Not necessarily true, 3-True, 4-Very true.

The Questionnaire Teacher's acquaintance with the student was developed by the researcher. It was validated by experts in the field to adapt it to the research. In addition to being validated by experts, a preliminary pilot study was conducted to validate the questionnaire on 30 teachers, similar to the study population. A high degree of internal consistency was obtained of α = 0.79. Alpha Kronbach. For the questionnaire on the teacher's acquaintance with the student it was α= 0.80.

Questionnaire 2: The teacher and I, for the student - for examining the teacher-student relationship including 25 statements, with the answers on a scale of 5 options, 1-Totally unsuitable, 2- Not suitable, 3- Fairly suitable, 4- Suitable, 5-Very suitable.

Questionnaire 2 gives expression to the student’s perception of his relationship with his teacher. Pianta's original questionnaire, had 26 statements on a scale of possibilities ranging from “Totally inappropriate” (1) to “Very appropriate” (7). As part of the study, the questionnaire underwent adaptation, so that some of the items expressing rejection were worded in a positive manner, while others were removed from it. The internal consistency index, correlation, (Alpha Kronbach α) of this questionnaire as reported in the literature ranged between: α = 0.72-0.86, and as found in the current study, the value (Alpha-Kornbach) was 0.82. A preliminary pilot study was conducted to validate the questionnaire, on 30 students, similar to the study population. An internal degree of consistency was obtained (Alpha-Kronbach), α=0.81. Both questionnaires were conducted in the participants' mother tongue.

3.5. The Research Process

The researcher distributed the questionnaires to teachers and students in elementary schools. Both the students and teachers received the questionnaire accompanied by an explanation of the research objectives, it was emphasized to the participants that the questionnaires are anonymous and all the findings will be used for research purposes only. The students and teachers filled out the questionnaires in the presence of the researcher.

The collection and summary of questionnaires and analysis of the results were done with the aid of SPSS software, the Pearson Correlation Coefficient for examining the relationship between the variables, and the One-Way ANOVA test, to examine the statistical significance of the differences between teachers' answers in relation to their background variables, such as gender, level of education, and teaching seniority. This was in addition to the internal consistency index, correlation (Alpha Kronbach = α).

4. Findings

The following are the results of the research in the order of the hypotheses:

For the first study hypothesis test “there will be a high level of acquaintance of the Arab teacher with his student,” the means and standard deviations of the study variables were calculated (see Table 1).

A review of the table above shows that the mean level of acquaintance of teachers with their students is (M=3.11, SD=0.63). The social acquaintance level (M=3.10, SD=0.62), and the economic level (M= 3.13, SD=0.75), accordingly; thus the hypothesis was confirmed.

The second study hypothesis test “will find a clear positive relationship between the level of acquaintance of the teacher and the level and quality of the teacher-student relationship from the students' point of view.”

  • Table 2. The Pearson Correlation Coefficient (R) for examining the relationship between the level of acquaintance and the teacher-student relationship from the student’s point of view (**P < 0.01)

From studying the table above, it can be seen that there is no positive relationship between the metrics of the teacher's acquaintance with the student and the teacher-student relationship metrics, as follows: No connection was found between social acquaintance, availability and acceptance (R=0.08, p<0.01), (R=0. 07, p<0.01), respectively. No linkage was found between social acquaintance and rejection (R=0.07), p<0.01).

Additionally, no positive connection was found between economic acquaintance on the one hand, and availability and acceptance of the teacher on the other (R=0.11, p<0.01), (R=0.15, p<0.01), respectively. No linkage was found between economic acquaintance and rejection (r=0.15, p<0.01).

In addition, no positive connection was found between overall acquaintance on the one hand, and availability and acceptance with the teacher on the other (R=0.10, p<0.01), (R=0.11, p<0.01), respectively. No linkage was found between total acquaintance and rejection (R=0.10, p<0.01). Therefore, the research hypothesis was refuted.

For the third study hypothesis test, “differences in the level of teacher acquaintance with student in relation to the teachers background variables will be found”, the means and standard deviations were calculated, using T and F tests. See Table 3, Table 4, and Table 5 below:

Table 3 above shows that there is a significant difference in the metrics of the level of acquaintance between male teachers and female teachers: M=3.08, 3.23, 3.14, SD=0.69, 0.81, 0.71, among male teachers; and M=3.10, 3.11, 3.10, SD=0.61, 0.75, 0.62 among female teachers. Therefore, the hypothesis was confirmed.

The findings in Table 4 above indicate that there are no statistically significant correlations between the seniority of the teacher and the teacher’s social, economic and overall acquaintance. The findings show that there is a moderate positive correlation between teacher seniority and the level of social acquaintance (r=0.32, P>0.05), but without statistical significance. The correlation between economic and overall acquaintance is low and not statistically significant (r=0.12, r=0.25, P>0.05, respectively).

  • Table 5. Mean, Standard Deviation, T Value and the significance of the level of teacher acquaintance with the student as a function of teacher's education

Table 5 above shows a positive relationship between the teacher's level of acquaintance with the student and the teacher's education; that is, the higher the level of teacher's education, the higher his level of acquaintance with the student. The social acquaintance (M=3.23, SD=0.44) was higher with master's degrees or higher than with bachelor’s degrees (M=3.05, SD=0.44), and higher in economic and overall acquaintance with master’s degrees or above (M=3.19, 3.19 and SD = 0.56, 0.83), than with bachelor’s degrees, (M=3.08, 3.09, SD= 0.66, 0.74). That is, the differences in the level of acquaintance of teachers were significant in relation to their level of education.

5. Discussion of the Findings

The purpose of the current study was to examine the level of acquaintance of teachers with students in elementary schools in the Arab education system in Israel from various points of view and the contribution of this acquaintance to level and quality of teacher-student relationships.

The first hypothesis: There will be a high level of acquaintance between the teacher and his students in the elementary schools. As noted in the findings, the level of the teacher's acquaintance with his student, in the Arab education system in Israel, is particularly high, in all the acquaintance indexes (mean of the overall level of acquaintance among teachers is 3.11). This result is similar to the findings of studies that examined the teacher's level of acquaintance with his students, in particular, and in human systems in general, as in the studies of those in parentheses 1, 2, 23, and also in the study of Pianta, et al., 3. This finding can be explained by the uniqueness of the structure and culture of Arab society as a collective society, emphasized by Jaraisi, 23, in which the individual acts according to the collective-group that represents the society’s values.

A positive relationship will be found between the level of the teacher's acquaintance with his students and the level of teacher-student relations in the elementary schools.

The results refuted the hypothesis, and there was no positive correlation between the metrics of teacher's acquaintance with his students' and the metrics of teacher-student relationships as reported by the students.

Despite the teacher's high level of acquaintance with his students, the level of the teacher-student relationship is not positive, according to what the students report. This finding may be due to many factors, but mainly, the inability of the Arab teacher to develop a relationship with his students, is because he maintains a distance between himself and the student in order to maintain his status in Arab society, which is characterized by fatherhood and authoritarianism 24.

The teacher in general, unlike the Arab teacher specifically, is the most important link in creating a connection with his students, and there is a clear correlation between the performance of the students and the quality of the relationship with the teacher in school 29. Although classes are complex social systems, such as teacher-student relationships, the nature and quality of the interactions between teachers and students are central to understanding the involvement of students in classroom learning 3. This, apparently, is an element that does not exist with teachers in the Arab education system in Israel.

The Arab education system, unlike education systems in Western societies, focuses mainly on the output aspect, they “start from the finishing line”, and because of this attitude, the various studies that examined Arab education focused on two planes: output-related (product), as opposed to input-related (investment). The teachers in Israel's Arab education system have suffered and are still suffering from their exclusion and discrimination, both due to the policies of the state institutions and from their students, most of whom are in circles of risk and exclusion. This reality apparently constitutes a serious obstacle to teachers for developing quality relationships with their students even though their level of acquaintance with students is high 8.

The level of acquaintance and background variables of teachers:

The level of acquaintance and the gender of the teacher. In this regard, it was found that there is no significant difference between the acquaintance of male teachers and female teachers with their students; regarding the female teachers, social acquaintance was the highest, followed by the overall acquaintance and economic acquaintance. The economic acquaintance of male teachers is considered higher than that of female teachers, without statistical significance. The results support the studies of 36, 41.

The level of acquaintance and seniority of the teacher. In this regard, it was found that all levels of acquaintance of the teacher with his students are high, but without statistical significance. A clear correlation was found between the teacher's seniority and the teacher's acquaintance with his students in economic and overall acquaintance, more so than in social acquaintance, similar to Kadri’s 30 study.

The level of acquaintance with the teacher's education. Here, a reverse correlation was found, namely, the higher the level of the teacher's education, the lower the level of acquaintance. This finding was supported by the study of Jini, Mark and Schwartz 25.

In conclusion, the results of the study can be explained by the characteristics of Arab society wherein the behavior of Arab teachers towards students, differs from that of teachers in Western societies. This is reflected in the Arab teacher's better acquaintance with his students, along with impact of the social and cultural values of society on the behavior of the teachers. Thus, a clear positive connection was not found between the level of the teacher's acquaintance with his students and the teacher-student relationships 24. Arab society is still characterized, for the most part, by traditional values and customs (collectivism, hierarchy and authoritarianism) that can interfere with the teacher's closeness to his students and even sometimes create distance and alienation between them. The hierarchy and authoritarianism of the teachers stimulate reticence in their relationships with the students, and they do not allow for closeness and open relations 9, 24.

6. Recommendations

It is recommended to conduct future studies that would encompass a larger sample and include Arab male and female teachers; Muslims and Christians as well as Jewish teachers from elementary and secondary schools, and draw a comparison with other societies around the world (traditional, developing and modern) and between school types. It is also recommended to examine the relationship between the teacher's acquaintance with their students and the level of the relationship between them with other variables such as student personality variables. It is recommended to conduct studies that combine quantitative and qualitative research paradigms.

Teachers in the Arab education system and teachers in general are advised to consider to invest efforts to improve relationships with students, especially in light of the challenges facing teachers in the 21st century. It is recommended to take into account the relationship between the level of the teacher's acquaintance with his students and the level of the relationship between them when coming to plan learning environments in schools and classrooms.

The findings of the study can provide information for teachers who wish to refresh their traditional patterns with new behaviors, or to shape an effective learning environment. In addition, the findings of the study can benefit teacher training programs, both in raising the issue of the relationship between the level of the teacher’s acquaintance and his relationships with his students and its significance both for the learning of the students and for the planning of challenging teaching processes adapted to the learners’ needs.

References

[1]  Gilat, Y. (2007). To be close. Tel Aviv: Mofet Institute. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[2]  Regev-Sagi, T. (2004). Teacher-student relationship and emotional and social adjustment among students at risk for learning disabilities. Tel Aviv University. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[3]  Pianta, C.R., Hamre, B.K., & Allen, J.P. (2012). Teacher-student relationships and engagement: Conceptualizing, measuring and improving capacity of classroom interactions, in: Christenson et al., (Eds.), Handbook of research on student engagement, Springer, 365-386.
In article      View Article
 
[4]  Ministry of Education (2014). The Bureau returns to the Terms of Service of Teaching Staff. (Hebrew) http://cms.education.gov.il/educationcms/units/sherut/odot/odot.htm.
In article      
 
[5]  Circular of the Director General of the Ministry of Education (Section 9.4-10, 2011). Ethics and protection in the social network. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[6]  Cohen, T., Tzchaik, M., & Hammer, R. (2014). The Teacher as a Friend: Perceived Perceptions of the Effect of Facebook Friendships with Teachers on the Sense of Closeness and Motivation for Learning among High-School Students, Book of the Ninth Conference on the Study of Innovation and Learning Technologies named Chase: The Man Who Learns in the Technological Age. Y. Eshet-Alkalei, A. Caspi, N. Geri, Y. Kalman, V. Zilber-Verod, Y. Yair (Eds.), The Open University: 252-254. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[7]  Shuyer, S., & Gur-Yaish, N. (2014). Teacher, can I talk to you? Observing the teacher's professional responsibility through a perspective that emphasizes relationships. Dvareem, 7, 63-47. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[8]  Abu Hussain, J. (2022). Physical Learning Environment and Learning Functioning among Students from the Point of View of Teachers in the Arab Education System in Israel. American Journal of Educational Research, Vol. 10, No. 1, 39-45.
In article      View Article
 
[9]  Abu-hussain, J. (2015). The thinking language of elementary school teachers in Arab education system in Israel: Implications for teacher education. Open journal business and management, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp.: 257-264.
In article      View Article
 
[10]  Bozo, M., Fisher, C., (2008). Extract the instruction from the pattern: the teacher initiates, the student responds, the teacher evaluates. Echo of Education, Issue 7, pp. 30-33. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[11]  Blass, N. (2017). The academic achievements of Arab students. Jerusalem: Taub Research Center Social policy in Israel. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[12]  RAMA (2018). website at: http://cms.education.gov.il/EducationCMS/Units/Rama/MivchanimBenLeumiyim/PISA_2018.htm.
In article      
 
[13]  Moore, P. (2010). Seeing the Children, a guide to creating a growing educational environment for at-risk students. Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, Ashalim. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[14]  Epstein, J.L. (2013). Ready or not? Preparing future educators for school, family, and community partnership. Teaching Education, 24(2), 115-118.
In article      View Article
 
[15]  Theisen-Homer, V. (2020). Preparing teachers for relationships with students: Two visions, Two Approaches. Journal of Teacher Education, vol. 72, issue, 3, pp. 271-283.
In article      View Article
 
[16]  Shner, M. (2012). To the Internet was born: the free spirit of man in a world whose boundaries have been opened. Tel Aviv: Mofet Institute. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[17]  Razer, M., Warszewski, B., & Sadey, A. (2011). Another contact at school. Designing a different school culture in working with students at risk and exclusion. Joint-Ashalim Publishing: cms.education.gov.il/ Units/Rama/Meitzav. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[18]  Hadad Haj-Yahya, N., Saif, A., Kasir, N., & Fargeon, B. (2021). Education in Arab Society: Disparities and Signs of Change. The Israel Democracy Institute & the Portland Trust.
In article      
 
[19]  Shenrach, R. (2014). Interpersonal relationships within the classroom and school functioning among adolescents are at risk of failure and dropout. As part of the conference, study research and creation in Oranim. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[20]  Wexler, M. (2007). Change of consciousness among teachers of underprivileged students. From disconnection to integration. 14, 52-68. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[21]  Gablinske, P., B. (2014). A case study of student and teacher relationships and the effect on student learning. Open Access Dissertations. Paper 266. https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/oa_diss/266.
In article      
 
[22]  Moore, P., Mendelssohn, Y. (2006). Talking to Adolescents at Risk: The Psychosocial Educational Concept. Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, Ashalim. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[23]  Mohamed, S., Jasmi, K. A., & Norman, N. I. (2016). Teachers' Acquaintance with the Developmental of Pre-School Students: A Pilot Study in Research on Educational Studies (Aqeel Khan, Mohamed Najib Abdul Ghafar, Abdul Rahim Hamdan, Royaha Talib (Eds.). New Delhi, India: Serials Publications PVT. LTD, p. 218-229.
In article      
 
[24]  Jaraisi, E. (2013). Psychosocial therapy in Arab society. In: Hovav, M., Lontel, A., & Katan, Y. (Ed.) (2013). Social work in Israel. Published by the United Kibbutz. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[25]  Jini, M., S., A., Mark, C., Aviezer, A. (2014). Teacher-student relationship as a “safe basis” for the child's emotional well-being, academic commitment and functioning in school. Magamot, (3). Pp. 513-480. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[26]  Nissan, A. (2009). Teacher-student interaction. The Israeli National Academy of Sciences, Jerusalem. (Report from a seminar held in Jerusalem). (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[27]  Korthagen, F.A.J., & Zwart, R.C. (2014). Teaching and Teacher Education, vol. 40, pp. 22-32.
In article      View Article
 
[28]  Klem, A.M., & Connel, J.P. (2004). Relationships Matter: Linking teacher support to student engagement and achievement. Journal of school health, vol. 74, No. 7, pp. 262-273.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[29]  Knoell, C.M. (2012). The Role of the Student-Teacher Relationship in the Lives of Fifth Graders: A Mixed Methods Analysis. Public Access Theses and Dissertations from the College of Education and Human Sciences. Paper 134.
In article      
 
[30]  Kadri, H. (2012). The classroom interaction between teacher and high school student, field research from the city of Vahran. University of Vahran, Algeria, Psychological and Cultural Studies, Laboratory for the Development of Psychological and Cultural Practice, Issue No. 8, pp. 14-33. (Arabic).
In article      
 
[31]  Hattie, J. (2012). Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning. Routledge. London.
In article      View Article
 
[32]  Cornelius-White, J. (2007). Learner-Centered Teacher-Students Relationships Are Effective: A Meta-Analysis. Review of Educational Research, 77, 113-143.
In article      View Article
 
[33]  Drugli, M.B. (2013). How are Closeness and Conflict in Student–Teacher Relationships Associated with Demographic Factors, School Functioning and Mental Health in Norwegian Schoolchildren Aged 6-13? Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 57:2, 217-225.
In article      View Article
 
[34]  Schmid, H. (2006). Committee chaired by Hillel Schmid: Report of the Public Committee for the Examination of the Situation of Children and Adolescents at Risk and Distress. Prime Minister's Office. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[35]  Al-Ygon, M., & Mikulincer, M. (2002). Patterns of Close Relationships and Socio Emotional and Academic Adjustment among school age children with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 19 (1): 12-19.
In article      View Article
 
[36]  Barakat, Z. (2006). The social relations between students and lecturers at the Al-Quds Open University, and their relationship to certain variables. Dar Almanzuma, Issue 46, pp. 21-38. (Arabic).
In article      
 
[37]  Alhindi, A., S. (2001). The role of the teacher in the development of social values among twelfth-grade students in the Gaza districts. The Islamic University, Gaza. (Arabic)
In article      
 
[38]  Shomoossi, N., Amouzadeh, M., ketabi, S. (2008). Classroom Interaction Mediated by Gender and Technology: The Language Laboratory Course. Novitas-Royal, Vol. 2 (2), pp. 176-184.
In article      
 
[39]  Khoury, L., Da'Na, S., & Abu-Saad, I. (2013). The dynamics of negation: identity formation among Palestinian Arab college students inside the green line, Social Identities, 19, 1.‏
In article      View Article
 
[40]  Jabareen, Y., & Agbaria, A. (2011). Education on hold: Government policy and civil society initiatives to advance Arab education in Israel. Nazareth: Dirasat, Arab Center for Law and Policy.
In article      
 
[41]  Alnaka, Ch., & Sheikh-Elaid, A. (2012). The role of the Palestinian teacher in strengthening reform and social development. Humanities, Vol. 16, Issue 1, pp. 1-29. (Arabic).
In article      
 

Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2022 Jamal Abu-Hussain

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Cite this article:

Normal Style
Jamal Abu-Hussain. The Level of Acquaintance of the Teacher with His Students and the Quality of the Relationship between Them in Elementary Schools of the Arab Minority in Israel. American Journal of Educational Research. Vol. 10, No. 5, 2022, pp 304-312. http://pubs.sciepub.com/education/10/5/6
MLA Style
Abu-Hussain, Jamal. "The Level of Acquaintance of the Teacher with His Students and the Quality of the Relationship between Them in Elementary Schools of the Arab Minority in Israel." American Journal of Educational Research 10.5 (2022): 304-312.
APA Style
Abu-Hussain, J. (2022). The Level of Acquaintance of the Teacher with His Students and the Quality of the Relationship between Them in Elementary Schools of the Arab Minority in Israel. American Journal of Educational Research, 10(5), 304-312.
Chicago Style
Abu-Hussain, Jamal. "The Level of Acquaintance of the Teacher with His Students and the Quality of the Relationship between Them in Elementary Schools of the Arab Minority in Israel." American Journal of Educational Research 10, no. 5 (2022): 304-312.
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  • Table 2. The Pearson Correlation Coefficient (R) for examining the relationship between the level of acquaintance and the teacher-student relationship from the student’s point of view (**P < 0.01)
  • Table 4. Pearson Correlation Coefficients to test the relationship between acquaintance level and teacher seniority (*P < 0.01)
  • Table 5. Mean, Standard Deviation, T Value and the significance of the level of teacher acquaintance with the student as a function of teacher's education
[1]  Gilat, Y. (2007). To be close. Tel Aviv: Mofet Institute. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[2]  Regev-Sagi, T. (2004). Teacher-student relationship and emotional and social adjustment among students at risk for learning disabilities. Tel Aviv University. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[3]  Pianta, C.R., Hamre, B.K., & Allen, J.P. (2012). Teacher-student relationships and engagement: Conceptualizing, measuring and improving capacity of classroom interactions, in: Christenson et al., (Eds.), Handbook of research on student engagement, Springer, 365-386.
In article      View Article
 
[4]  Ministry of Education (2014). The Bureau returns to the Terms of Service of Teaching Staff. (Hebrew) http://cms.education.gov.il/educationcms/units/sherut/odot/odot.htm.
In article      
 
[5]  Circular of the Director General of the Ministry of Education (Section 9.4-10, 2011). Ethics and protection in the social network. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[6]  Cohen, T., Tzchaik, M., & Hammer, R. (2014). The Teacher as a Friend: Perceived Perceptions of the Effect of Facebook Friendships with Teachers on the Sense of Closeness and Motivation for Learning among High-School Students, Book of the Ninth Conference on the Study of Innovation and Learning Technologies named Chase: The Man Who Learns in the Technological Age. Y. Eshet-Alkalei, A. Caspi, N. Geri, Y. Kalman, V. Zilber-Verod, Y. Yair (Eds.), The Open University: 252-254. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[7]  Shuyer, S., & Gur-Yaish, N. (2014). Teacher, can I talk to you? Observing the teacher's professional responsibility through a perspective that emphasizes relationships. Dvareem, 7, 63-47. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[8]  Abu Hussain, J. (2022). Physical Learning Environment and Learning Functioning among Students from the Point of View of Teachers in the Arab Education System in Israel. American Journal of Educational Research, Vol. 10, No. 1, 39-45.
In article      View Article
 
[9]  Abu-hussain, J. (2015). The thinking language of elementary school teachers in Arab education system in Israel: Implications for teacher education. Open journal business and management, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp.: 257-264.
In article      View Article
 
[10]  Bozo, M., Fisher, C., (2008). Extract the instruction from the pattern: the teacher initiates, the student responds, the teacher evaluates. Echo of Education, Issue 7, pp. 30-33. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[11]  Blass, N. (2017). The academic achievements of Arab students. Jerusalem: Taub Research Center Social policy in Israel. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[12]  RAMA (2018). website at: http://cms.education.gov.il/EducationCMS/Units/Rama/MivchanimBenLeumiyim/PISA_2018.htm.
In article      
 
[13]  Moore, P. (2010). Seeing the Children, a guide to creating a growing educational environment for at-risk students. Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, Ashalim. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[14]  Epstein, J.L. (2013). Ready or not? Preparing future educators for school, family, and community partnership. Teaching Education, 24(2), 115-118.
In article      View Article
 
[15]  Theisen-Homer, V. (2020). Preparing teachers for relationships with students: Two visions, Two Approaches. Journal of Teacher Education, vol. 72, issue, 3, pp. 271-283.
In article      View Article
 
[16]  Shner, M. (2012). To the Internet was born: the free spirit of man in a world whose boundaries have been opened. Tel Aviv: Mofet Institute. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[17]  Razer, M., Warszewski, B., & Sadey, A. (2011). Another contact at school. Designing a different school culture in working with students at risk and exclusion. Joint-Ashalim Publishing: cms.education.gov.il/ Units/Rama/Meitzav. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[18]  Hadad Haj-Yahya, N., Saif, A., Kasir, N., & Fargeon, B. (2021). Education in Arab Society: Disparities and Signs of Change. The Israel Democracy Institute & the Portland Trust.
In article      
 
[19]  Shenrach, R. (2014). Interpersonal relationships within the classroom and school functioning among adolescents are at risk of failure and dropout. As part of the conference, study research and creation in Oranim. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[20]  Wexler, M. (2007). Change of consciousness among teachers of underprivileged students. From disconnection to integration. 14, 52-68. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[21]  Gablinske, P., B. (2014). A case study of student and teacher relationships and the effect on student learning. Open Access Dissertations. Paper 266. https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/oa_diss/266.
In article      
 
[22]  Moore, P., Mendelssohn, Y. (2006). Talking to Adolescents at Risk: The Psychosocial Educational Concept. Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, Ashalim. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[23]  Mohamed, S., Jasmi, K. A., & Norman, N. I. (2016). Teachers' Acquaintance with the Developmental of Pre-School Students: A Pilot Study in Research on Educational Studies (Aqeel Khan, Mohamed Najib Abdul Ghafar, Abdul Rahim Hamdan, Royaha Talib (Eds.). New Delhi, India: Serials Publications PVT. LTD, p. 218-229.
In article      
 
[24]  Jaraisi, E. (2013). Psychosocial therapy in Arab society. In: Hovav, M., Lontel, A., & Katan, Y. (Ed.) (2013). Social work in Israel. Published by the United Kibbutz. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[25]  Jini, M., S., A., Mark, C., Aviezer, A. (2014). Teacher-student relationship as a “safe basis” for the child's emotional well-being, academic commitment and functioning in school. Magamot, (3). Pp. 513-480. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[26]  Nissan, A. (2009). Teacher-student interaction. The Israeli National Academy of Sciences, Jerusalem. (Report from a seminar held in Jerusalem). (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[27]  Korthagen, F.A.J., & Zwart, R.C. (2014). Teaching and Teacher Education, vol. 40, pp. 22-32.
In article      View Article
 
[28]  Klem, A.M., & Connel, J.P. (2004). Relationships Matter: Linking teacher support to student engagement and achievement. Journal of school health, vol. 74, No. 7, pp. 262-273.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[29]  Knoell, C.M. (2012). The Role of the Student-Teacher Relationship in the Lives of Fifth Graders: A Mixed Methods Analysis. Public Access Theses and Dissertations from the College of Education and Human Sciences. Paper 134.
In article      
 
[30]  Kadri, H. (2012). The classroom interaction between teacher and high school student, field research from the city of Vahran. University of Vahran, Algeria, Psychological and Cultural Studies, Laboratory for the Development of Psychological and Cultural Practice, Issue No. 8, pp. 14-33. (Arabic).
In article      
 
[31]  Hattie, J. (2012). Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning. Routledge. London.
In article      View Article
 
[32]  Cornelius-White, J. (2007). Learner-Centered Teacher-Students Relationships Are Effective: A Meta-Analysis. Review of Educational Research, 77, 113-143.
In article      View Article
 
[33]  Drugli, M.B. (2013). How are Closeness and Conflict in Student–Teacher Relationships Associated with Demographic Factors, School Functioning and Mental Health in Norwegian Schoolchildren Aged 6-13? Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 57:2, 217-225.
In article      View Article
 
[34]  Schmid, H. (2006). Committee chaired by Hillel Schmid: Report of the Public Committee for the Examination of the Situation of Children and Adolescents at Risk and Distress. Prime Minister's Office. (Hebrew).
In article      
 
[35]  Al-Ygon, M., & Mikulincer, M. (2002). Patterns of Close Relationships and Socio Emotional and Academic Adjustment among school age children with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 19 (1): 12-19.
In article      View Article
 
[36]  Barakat, Z. (2006). The social relations between students and lecturers at the Al-Quds Open University, and their relationship to certain variables. Dar Almanzuma, Issue 46, pp. 21-38. (Arabic).
In article      
 
[37]  Alhindi, A., S. (2001). The role of the teacher in the development of social values among twelfth-grade students in the Gaza districts. The Islamic University, Gaza. (Arabic)
In article      
 
[38]  Shomoossi, N., Amouzadeh, M., ketabi, S. (2008). Classroom Interaction Mediated by Gender and Technology: The Language Laboratory Course. Novitas-Royal, Vol. 2 (2), pp. 176-184.
In article      
 
[39]  Khoury, L., Da'Na, S., & Abu-Saad, I. (2013). The dynamics of negation: identity formation among Palestinian Arab college students inside the green line, Social Identities, 19, 1.‏
In article      View Article
 
[40]  Jabareen, Y., & Agbaria, A. (2011). Education on hold: Government policy and civil society initiatives to advance Arab education in Israel. Nazareth: Dirasat, Arab Center for Law and Policy.
In article      
 
[41]  Alnaka, Ch., & Sheikh-Elaid, A. (2012). The role of the Palestinian teacher in strengthening reform and social development. Humanities, Vol. 16, Issue 1, pp. 1-29. (Arabic).
In article