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Partners in Learning: A Grounded Theory Study of Relational Practice between Master’s Students and Professors


Meaningful academic relationships between adult master’s students and their professors can both deepen students’ learning and serve as a regenerating force for professors. This study employed grounded theory methods to explore the question, “What goes on in relational practice between master’s students and professors?” I interviewed 10 matched pairs of recent alumni and professors who identified as having “a meaningful academic relationship”. Dimensional analysis surfaced two core dimensions: reconstructing and regenerating. In reconstructing, the students’ core dimension reveals the student experience of reconstructing, or understanding more deeply, theory or one’s self. In the case of regenerating, the professor’s core dimension identifies the professors’ experience of “giving back” through their teaching and extending their professional reach by training others. These experiences serve to reinvigorate professors over the course of their careers. In addition, findings in this study resonate with sensitizing concepts including relational cultural theory and relational practice. Finally, the analysis surfaced evidence supporting authentic teaching concepts and connected these concepts to faculty and student learning partnerships.


Leadership, Management & Business


Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning





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