Learner-Centered Teacher-Student Relationships Are Effective: A Meta-Analysis

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person centered, learner centered, instructional relationships, meta-analysis, constructivist, humanistic


Person-centered education is a counseling-originated, educational psychology model, overripe for meta-analysis, that posits that positive teacher-student relationships are associated with optimal, holistic learning. It includes classical, humanistic education and today's constructivist learner-centered model. The author reviewed about 1,000 articles to synthesize 119 studies from 1948 to 2004 with 1,450 findings and 355,325 students. The meta-analysis design followed Mackay, Barkham, Rees, and Stiles's guidelines, including comprehensive search mechanisms, accuracy and bias control, and primary study validity assessment. Variables coded included 9 independent and 18 dependent variables and 39 moderators. The results showed that correlations had wide variation. Mean correlations (r= .31) were above average compared with other educational innovations for cognitive and especially affective and behavioral outcomes. Methodological and sample features accounted for some of the variability.

Recommended Citation

Cornelius-White, Jeffrey. "Learner-centered teacher-student relationships are effective: A meta-analysis." Review of educational research 77, no. 1 (2007): 113-143.

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Counseling, Leadership and Special Education