The Importance of Building Student Trust

Teaching is more than presenting content clearly and coherently. Teaching is about demonstrating the value of that knowledge, explaining how to remember it and use it appropriately, and laying the foundation for continued learning. Little of that will happen if students don’t trust the teacher. I define student trust as the student’s belief that the teacher is competent, will act with integrity, and will act in ways that are beneficial to the student’s success and development. All three components have to be present. In this talk, I will explain how trust is different from other aspects of student mindset, I will describe research on the impact of student trust on student learning behaviors, and I will describe the importance of developing trust, especially for our most vulnerable students.

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