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Respect has been called
“the single most powerful ingredient in nourishing relationships and creating a
just society” (Lawrence-Lightfoot, 2000). Respect may indeed be the glue that
binds people together and holds together one’s self-concept. If respect is akin
to “positive regard” (Rogers, 1961), it is the belief that enables one to value
other people, institutions, and traditions. According to the study of Celkan,
Green and Hussain (2014) a climate of respect in the classroom is vital for
student success. College students in America and in Malaysia responded to a
questionnaire designed to measure their perceptions on teacher respect toward
students. In Malaysia there was no significant correlation between male and
female answers. Males tended to be more in agreement on their answers than the
females were on their answers. Carson (1999) argues that at the core of
effective instruction are three key teaching attributes, “Outstanding teachers
love the subjects they teach; they respect and like their students; and they
are committed to and skilled at connecting the two things they care deeply
about—their subject matter and students”. For Carson, effective college
teaching is interpersonal and embedded in classroom interactions between
professor, student and subject matter. An important characteristic of this
interpersonal space is respect (Carson, 1996 and 1999; VanVoorhis, 1999). Elaine
Kolitch and Ann Dean (1999) argue, “Pedagogical presence begins with dialogue
between teacher and student and is built of mutual respect and trust” (p. 37).
Respect is so important to students that it appears to be the one universal
yardstick by which students measure the instructional effectiveness of
professors. Student evaluations of teaching Respect and can vary on
characteristics such as enthusiasm, ability to communicate, and course
organization, but not respect for students as learners (Young and Shaw, 1999).

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