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Teachers and Students as Co-Learners

Toward a Mutual Value Theory


Dengting Boyanton

Teaching is hard. Many teachers find it stressful. New teachers often lose their enthusiasm. The special education population is skyrocketing. Students are losing their motivation. What has gone wrong? How can we create powerful learning in students? Most importantly, how can we bring joy back to the classroom? Mutual value theory, as developed by Dengting Boyanton, asserts that to generate powerful learning, four essential values must be instilled in both students and teachers:
1. self-value – both students and teachers value themselves highly
2. perceived self-value—both consider themselves to be highly valued by others
3. other-value – both value each other highly
4. course-value – both value the course highly
Since 2007, the author has applied this theory to her classroom teaching and has received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Students describe her courses as motivating, engaging, enjoyable, respectful, and empowering. Based on both theory and personal teaching experiences, Teachers and Students as Co-Learners: Toward a Mutual Value Theory will help readers develop a deeper understanding of learning, re-ignite their enthusiasm, and, most importantly, create powerful teaching and learning in the classroom.
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Chapter 6. Perceived Self-value


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. 6 .


Importance of Perceived Self-Value

Unlike self-value, perceived self-value is the self-assessment of how self is being evaluated by others. Perceived self-value answers the question, “What do others think of me?” Perceived self-value represents one of the most basic human needs: the acceptance and approval of others. As human beings and social animals, it is natural for us to have this desire to feel accepted and valued by others. If we observe people’s behavior, we will find that many of our behaviors are driven by this need to seek approval. In the classroom setting, a primary goal that many teachers and students hope to obtain is a quality student-teacher relationship where there is mutual value, respect and fondness for each other (Mottet & Beebe, 2002). There is a great deal of empirical support that perceived self-value seeking behaviors in the classroom with the purpose of increasing affect and value between teachers and students ultimately facilitates learning (McCroskey, 2006). Similarly, students are often more concerned about how well the self is being perceived by others than how well they are doing academically. If we observe students’ behavior, we will find that many of the things students do—what they say, how they act, what clothes they wear, how they present themselves, their hairstyle, what kind of ← 153 | 154 → music they listen to, the social groups they join, the make-up they wear—are all to obtain others’ attention, approval, acceptance, and...

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