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ERIC Number: ED513234
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 202
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-7806-4
Thankful Learning: A Grounded Theory Study of Relational Practice between Master's Students and Professors
Schwartz, Harriet L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Antioch University
Master's education in the social sciences provides a unique opportunity for students and teachers. Students often bring extensive professional and life experience to the classroom, as well as clarity regarding their academic goals. Professors who teach on the master's level are distinctly committed to the teaching mission and see their students' experience as valuable to their own growth as teachers and to the ongoing development and vitality of their academic programs. The purpose of this study is to explore what goes on in relational practice between master's students and professors. Ten matched pairs of recent alumni and professors (from six different schools) were interviewed. Participants reflected on their relationships while the student was enrolled in the master's program, and the evolution of their relationships in the alumni context. Grounded theory dimensional analysis was employed to analyze the interview data. Six dimensions each emerged from the professor and student data respectively. The professor dimensions are: "Orienting," "Self-organizing," "Valuing," "Advancing," "Bounding," and "Regenerating". The student dimensions are: "Engaging," "Navigating," "Developing," "Connecting," "Reconstructing," and "Collaborating". The professors' "Regenerating" and the students' "Reconstructing" are the core dimensions. A combined exploration of the professor and student dimensional analyses surfaced six theoretical propositions: energizing the relationship, teaching and learning are bidirectional, difference is potential, asymmetrical primacy, working close to the boundaries, and the connection paradox. This study draws from literature in the following domains: relational cultural theory, positive psychology, positive work relationships, mentoring, adult development, and adult learning. The wisdom of these literatures combined with the findings of this study, provide a deep consideration of the relational space and experience of master's students and professors, exploring elements such as mutuality, boundaries, friendship, professional development, positionality, humor, connection and collaboration. The electronic version of this dissertation is at OhioLink ETD Center, [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A