I am answering this in parts, as an overview for issues relating to learning outcomes and perceived teacher friendliness.
To assist, I would categorise friendliness to mean encouragement and rapport (respect may or may not be correlated within this).
Firstly to address integrating theories of teaching and learning.
Theories of learning and theories of teaching often originate and
operate independently from one another. This article attempts to
contribute to the integration of the two types of theories. First, the
cognitive, affective and regulative activities students use to learn
are analyzed. Next, different ways in which teachers can regulate the
learning and thinking activities of students are discussed, as well as
the teaching strategies they can use for that aim. The third part
focuses on different ways in which student-regulation and
teacher-regulation of learning act upon one another. Congruence and
friction between these modes of control are discussed. From this
interplay implications are derived for process-oriented teaching,
aimed at promoting congruence and constructive friction, avoiding
destructive friction and reducing the gap between learning and
Secondly a study that shows the beneficial and cyclic effect of an encouraging teacher/student relationship. (note the reverse is true for students caught within a negative cycle)
On the basis of a new model of motivation, the authors examined the
effects of 3 dimensions of teacher (n = 14) behavior (involvement,
structure, and autonomy support) on 144 children's (Grades 3–5)
behavioral and emotional engagement across a school year.
Correlational and path analyses revealed that teacher involvement was
central to children's experiences in the classroom and that teacher
provision of both autonomy support and optimal structure predicted
children's motivation across the school year. Reciprocal effects of
student motivation on teacher behavior were also found. Students who
showed higher initial behavioral engagement received subsequently more
of all 3 teacher behaviors. These findings suggest that students who
are behaviorally disengaged receive teacher responses that should
further undermine their motivation. The importance of the
student–teacher relationship, especially interpersonal involvement, in
optimizing student motivation is highlighted. (PsycINFO Database
Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) 2
This study examines the effects of positive versus negative verbal reinforcement on different personality types. It would appear that not all people perform best within the cycle of "friendliness".
However, there was a highly significant interaction between these
variables; extraverts performed better under positive than negative
reinforcement, whilst introverts performed better under negative than
positive reinforcement. 3
Which brings me to my last point, which is that motivation appears to be improved by a balance between friendliness creating a tension within the classroom. It also shows that both positive and negative reinforcement are necessary.
• Set a feeling or tone for the lesson. Instructors should try to
establish a friendly, open atmosphere that shows the participants
they will help them learn.
• Set an appropriate level of concern. The
level of tension must be adjusted to meet the level of importance of
the objective. If the material has a high level of importance, a
higher level of tension/stress should be established in the class.
However, people learn best under low to moderate stress; if the
stress is too high, it becomes a barrier to learning.
• Positive reinforcement is normally used by instructors who are
teaching participants new skills. As the name implies, positive
reinforcement is "good" and reinforces "good" (or positive) behavior.
• Negative reinforcement is the contingent removal of a noxious
stimulus that tends to increase the behavior. The contingent
presentation of a noxious stimulus that tends to decrease a behavior
is called Punishment. Reinforcing a behavior will never lead to
extinction of that behavior by definition. Punishment and Time Out
lead to extinction of a particular behavior, but positive or negative
reinforcement of that behavior never will 4
From the available studies, an underlying friendliness, which enables approachability b students, facilitates learning, but a certain level of discipline and the boundary creating an unequal relationship is also necessary. Suggesting that balance is the key and there are no hard and fast rules, as people have varying learning styles.
1 Congruence and friction between learning and teaching
Jan D Vermunt, Nico Verloop
Leiden University, ICLON — Graduate School of Education, P.O. Box 9555, 2300 RB Leiden, The Netherlands
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0959-4752(98)00028-0, How to Cite or Link Using DOI
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2 Motivation in the classroom: Reciprocal effects of teacher behavior and student engagement across the school year.
Skinner, Ellen A.; Belmont, Michael J.
Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol 85(4), Dec 1993, 571-581. doi: 10.1037/0022-06184.108.40.2061
3 Effects of positive and negative verbal reinforcement on performance as a function of extraversion-introversion: Some tests of Gray's theory
John Boddy, Annabel Carver, Kevin Rowley
Department of Psychology, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, England
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(86)90111-X, How to Cite or Link Using DOI
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4 Carrie Ekey, Literacy Coaches Training, Feb. 2012 PRINCIPLES OF ADULT LEARNING By Stephen LiebSenior Technical Writer and Planner, Arizona Department of Health Servicesand part-time Instructor, South Mountain Community Collegefrom VISION, Fall 1991