Giving Students Respect: One of the Great Soft Skills of Teaching and Learning


  • E A Burns La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia



Practical pedagogy, Respect, Soft skills, Teaching practice, Soft skills for teachers, Classroom management


The importance of soft skills is described for achieving teaching and learning outcomes by educational instructors. The introductory discussion briefly explores the variety of attributes that different scholars classify as soft skills. The emphasis here is on the intangible human qualities that create outstanding learning opportunities, rather than viewings soft skills as simply teaching process in contrast to hard skills of knowledge and performance. Two examples of teaching scholars are considered in elaborating how they achieve high quality learning outcomes: Four principles from Wlodowski and Ginsberg in delivering intensive block courses are outlined. Five principles from Bain’s research into ‘What the Best Teachers Do’ are also described. In each case these teaching exemplars show the importance of soft skills in the craft of teaching. In the last part of the discussion the soft skill of respect is put forward as a fundamentally important, but often undertheorised and underutilised, pedagogical self-discipline and resource for excellent teaching.


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How to Cite

E A Burns. (2018). Giving Students Respect: One of the Great Soft Skills of Teaching and Learning. Issues and Ideas in Education, 6(1), 41–61.



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