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ERIC Number: EJ1157228
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1710-5668
Using a Complexity Approach to Study the Interpersonal Dynamics in Teacher-­Student Interactions: A Case Study of Two Teachers
Pennings, Helena J. M.
Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education, v14 n2 p88-103 2017
In the present study, complex dynamic systems theory and interpersonal theory are combined to describe the teacher-student interactions of two teachers with different interpersonal styles. The aim was to show and explain the added value of looking at different steps in the analysis of behavioral time-series data (i.e., observations of teacher and student behaviors) that are described by Warner (1998): (1) the general level and overall coordination, (2) the presence of linear, quadratic and cubic trends in behavior, (3) the coherence and phase in cyclical trends that are superimposed on the linear, quadratic and cubic trends, and (4) the residual fluctuations, when studying the fit between teacher and student interpersonal behavior. Interactional fit is conceptualized, and described in each step of the time-series analysis, using the principle of complementarity (e.g., Kiesler, 1996). Results showed that the teacher-student interactions of the teacher with the most desirable interpersonal style largely followed the complementarity principle, whereas the interactions of the teacher with the less desirable interpersonal style did not. These results are discussed in light of the hypotheses and limitations of the study.
University of Alberta. 347 Education South, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G5, Canada. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A