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Stamford Journal - (Discontinued May 2014 Replaced by the ASEAN Journal of Management & Innovation)

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Teacher-student relations are a strong motivator and indicator of learning. Trust between teacher and student is a fundamental prerequisite for higher learning (Curzon-Hobson, 2002). Further, the relationship allows for the construction of a safe and nurturing environment that facilitates the students’ ability to create and trust their knowledge (Raider-Roth, 2005). Relationships may even be correlated with student participation and enthusiasm for discussion (Davis, 1993). The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of a deliberate focus on relationship building in the undergraduate classroom at the United States Military Academy. Using a teacher-as-researcher method, the instructor asked students to make personal introductions for 4 classes (semester 1), 8 classes (semester 2), and 11 classes (semester 3) to support class cohesion and improve classroom participation by enhancing student-student and student-teacher relationship. The study used qualitative data to assess the impact of introductions on student participation and satisfaction and to facilitate the development of student enthusiasm. Keywords: relationship, motivation, classroom engagement, classroom participation