Through in-depth interviews, students’ experiences and perceptions of good teaching practice in literature and physics during one school year were investigated in eight upper secondary classes of the first, second and third years in Greece. Students’ feelings of joy, pleasure and personal meaning in the teaching and learning situation were in focus of the research. Three main and interconnected aspects of good teaching practice were distinguished through an explorative analysis of students’ accounts: In-depth teaching and understanding of the subject matter, Dialogical interrelatedness and reflection, and Teacher’s involvement in students’ learning and in teaching subject matter. The three aspects signify together the character of the appreciated educational experience.
The in-depth teaching and understanding of the subject matter, as a collective classroom activity, took the form of three approaches: the Logical/ analytical, the Holistic/reflective, and the Existential approach. The dialogical interrelatedness and reflection was characterized by the aspects of Freedom of authentic exploration and expression, Support of personal participation and otherness, and Argumentative mutual thinking and awareness. Teacher’s involvement in students’ learning and in teaching subject matter was characterized by the aspects: Teacher’s ethos, Teacher’s passion, and Teacher’s rhetorics. All aspects jointly formed important qualities of good teaching practice in all classes. The significance, presence and specific meaning of each aspect varied within and between classes, subjects and years.
Based on the results, the complexity of teaching practice as a holistic, relational and dynamic situational event is discussed, and the dynamics of the dialectic eros is highlighted.