A growing body of research reveals that a supportive, positive teacher-student relationship isan important element of successful education. From a Nordic perspective, a lot of researchhas explored teachers´ relational competence as a central part of teacher professionalism.The discourse focuses on the concept of relationship, and thereby also on the quality ofcloseness, i.e. on a close connection between teacher and student. This article aims at contributingto the field by conceptualizing relational competence in terms of both closenessand distance. The discussion is supported by three theories, Martin Buber´s, ThomasZiehe´s and Gert Biesta´s, in which the relationship between the two poles is problematizedand elucidated. The article proposes that relational competence should be located in the interfacebetween closeness and distance, i.e. that it is rather is about developing a well differentiated-than a close relationship to the student.
SOCIAL SCIENCES -- Educational Sciences (hsv//eng)