Logo for CIT 2020 Conference - Transforming Interpreter Education

Student-Teacher Relationships: A Core Principle

by Elizabeth Jean-Baptiste

Interactive Workshop

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Researchers and scholars of interpreter education, such as Cynthia Roy, Elizabeth Winston, and Christine Monikowski, have long called attention to the need for instituting evidence-based practices in our field. The importance of the Student-Teacher Relationship is a well-researched phenomena and is taught as a core principle in teacher education programs across the country. However, the dynamics and complexity of relationship-building have made it challenging for even teacher educators to translate Relational-Cultural Theory (RCT) into practice. It is the presenter’s claim that we should draw on existing education research theory, such as RCT, in combination with practitioner inquiry, to create and document best practices that improve the teaching and learning of interpretation and translation.

This interactive workshop aims to provide an overview of Student-Teacher Relationship literature, the Relational Cultural Theory framework, and their proposed implications on teaching and learning. The presenter will share examples from a self-study she conducted examining the practices she performs in and out of the classroom centered on the Student-Teacher Relationship. Themes around critical consciousness, reflexivity, communication, connection, vulnerability, courage, hope, high quality feedback, and authentic learning experiences will be examined.

Participants will be able to:

  • Define Relational Cultural Theory framework.
  • Locate literature on Student-Teacher Relationship research.
  • Articulate the importance of the Student-Teacher Relationship on teaching and learning outcomes.
  • View sample themes from the presenter’s self-study.
  • Describe benefits of focusing on the Student-Teacher Relationship as a core principle in interpreter education.
  • Chart action steps for implementing their own self-study.
  • Discuss and problem solve around issues of Student-Teacher Relationships.

A white woman with short blond hair smiles at camera wearing a grey t-shirt covered by a magenta cardigan in front of a light purple backgroundElizabeth Jean-Baptiste, Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati, is a RID Certified interpreter since 2001 and interpreter educator since 2005. She has more than ten years of overseas experience, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya (2006-2008) and Zambia (2008-2009), professor at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, Fellow with Discovering Deaf Worlds in the Philippines, and most recently as a consultant to the Kenyan National Association of the Deaf and Kenyan Signed Language Interpreter’s Association.

She has a Bachelor’s degree in Sign Language Interpreting and Master’s degree in Adult Education and Administrative Leadership from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Education and Community-Based Action Research at the University of Cincinnati. Her research areas of interest include collaborative change research, evaluation and design, critical pedagogies, and relational teaching and learning. Other academic pursuits focus on teaching critical thinking skills, service learning, interdisciplinary curriculum for improved interpreter education, discourse analysis, ethical decision-making, closing the school-to-work gap, cross-training of spoken and signed language interpreters, and international experiences as a key element to interpreter education.