Looking beyond the COVID-19 pandemic: the recalibration of student-teacher relationships in teaching and learning process

Diantha Soemantri, Ardi Findyartini, Rita Mustika, Estivana Felaza, Muhammad Athallah Arsyaf, Bayu Prasetya Alfandy, Nadia Greviana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Given the various novel educational approaches and online interactions following the pandemic, it is timely to identify lessons learned for post-pandemic student and teacher relationships within the ‘new normal’ teaching learning processes. This study aims to explore the dynamics and to what extent the disruption influences student-teacher relationships in teaching and learning process following the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: A qualitative descriptive approach was employed to explore individual reflections and perspectives from 28 medical teachers and 35 medical students from different institutions who participated in 10 focus groups. Data were analyzed thematically using steps for coding and theorization (SCAT) approach. The emerging themes were then further analyzed and regrouped into the relationship-centered leadership framework based on emotional intelligence. Results: The identified themes described three elements representing student-teacher relationships in the teaching learning processes. The self as the center of the diagram consists of the co-existing role of the self as teachers and as students, which to some extent, is related to their personal and professional development, motivation, and struggles to maintain work-life balance. The middle layer represents the dynamic of student-teacher relationship, which showed that despite the increased number of teaching opportunities, the trust among teachers and students was compromised. These changes in the self and the dynamic relationship occurred in a broader and more complex medical education system, pictured as the outer layer. Thorough curriculum improvements, contents, and new skills were emphasized. Conclusions: Our findings emphasized the need to recalibrate student-teacher relationships, taking into account the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and the system factors. The pandemic has reemphasized the aim of teachers’ roles, not only to nurture students’ competencies, but also to nurture meaningful interpersonal reciprocal relationships through responding towards both teachers’ and students’ needs as well as supporting both personal and professional development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2259162
JournalMedical education online
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • medical education
  • personal and professional development
  • student-teacher relationship
  • teaching learning process


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