Lärares relationskompetens: begreppsdiskussion med stöd i Martin Bubers begrepp "det sociala" och "det mellanmänskliga"

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Teachers’ relational competence: A concept discussion, supported by Martin Buber’s concepts of “the social” and “the interhuman”. Current research and policy documents treat relational competence as an important part of teacher professionalism. Relational competence is generally understood as the ability to build respectful and trusting relationships with students and others. However, research in the field is scarce and theoretical discussions are rare. This article outlines a framework for understanding fundamental aspects of the concept. Buber’s (1990b) distinction between “the social” and “the interhuman” is adopted to provide theoretical support for the framework. Based on this distinction, I construct two forms of relational competence represented by the expressions “attitude to relationships” and “attitude in relationships”. The framework could be used as a “puzzle picture” (Asplund, 1991), i.e., a picture of one phenomenon that includes a picture of another, though the two pictures cannot be focused on simultaneously. The practical implications of the concept are addressed as well.

Original languageSwedish
Pages (from-to)49-63
Number of pages14
JournalUtbildning och Demokrati
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Educational Sciences (503)


  • Buber
  • Relational competence
  • teacher professionalism
  • teacherstudent relationship
  • “the interhuman”
  • “the social”

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