Examining communication privacy management in the middle school classroom: Perceived gains and consequences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: From instructing students on curriculum content to helping their pupils to develop a wide range of skills, teachers in many educational settings make daily decisions about how and what to disclose to their students to build relationships and make connections with content.Purpose: The current study, applied to a North American middle school context, reveals what is known about teacher disclosure in higher education in terms of how teachers develop privacy rules and coordinate boundaries.Sample: Ten certified middle school teachers of 11-14-year-olds (i.e. six to eighth graders) from one school were invited to participate in individual semi-structured interviews. Network sampling of teachers was employed.Method: Interview data were transcribed and Petronio's communication privacy management (CPM) was used as the theoretical framework to guide the identification of themes.Findings: Analysis provided support for the original four criteria identified in CPM and revealed an additional criterion (i.e. 'identification rapport') for this specific group of middle school teachers. Teachers also reported the importance of understanding the potential positive and negative consequences associated with disclosing personal information to middle school students.Conclusions: This study suggests that CPM can be meaningfully extended to a specific middle school context. In addition, the emergence of 'identification rapport' as an additional criterion provides fresh insight into middle school teachers' communication privacy management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-27
Number of pages15
JournalEducational Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • communication privacy management
  • identification rapport
  • student-teacher communication
  • student-teacher relationships
  • teacher disclosure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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