The Centre for Relationship-Based Education

Network Members


We want to continue to build our Network and we need your help!

We started the Centre for Relationship-Based Education on March 5, 2019. In that short time, we have grown to over 300 members and counting. We are all about relationships. The more members, the more relationships, and the more we can make a real difference.

We hope to have 1000 members by the end of December 2019! So, we have started a membership drive. Until the end of June 2019, all members will have a chance to win a free copy of either The Third Path or Pushing the Limits. We are giving away 10 copies of each book!

Also, any member who refers a new member will be placed into a separate draw to win one of our two books. For each member you refer, your name goes into the draw. More referrals, more chances to win.

The Centre for Relationship-Based Education is your voice for what matters most in education. Let’s work together to make a difference!

What’s New

Join us in Toronto, August 19, 20, & 21!

Read Tom Boland’s moving piece: Jesse’s Story

Schoolyards Count! Be Part of an Important Research Project

Relationships Make the Difference


We are non-profit group of educators, researchers, parents, and community partners dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth through strengthening their relationships. We view relationships as the critical vehicle through which all learning and growth occur. Our goal is to support children and youth to succeed in school and in life through the promotion of positive, genuine, intentional, and responsive relationships in the classroom and beyond.


What is the common denominator underpinning both academic achievement and student well-being? Relationships. When students encounter caring and consistent relationships with adults, they are much more likely to succeed—not just academically, but in regard to their mental health and well-being too. Relationships make the difference and it all starts with you!

Research shows that stronger teacher-student relationships leads to:

  • Increased pursuit of social goals

  • Increased prosocial behaviour

  • Development of social/emotional skills

  • Increased self-control

  • Enhanced emotional well-being

  • Increased positive self-concept

  • Willingness to seek help

  • Greater internalization of adult values and goals

  • Improved sense of relatedness and belonging

  • Buffering of stress and anxiety

  • Greater overall protection against risk

  • Improved emotional regulation

    Click here for the references!

  • Increased motivation

  • Increased academic engagement

  • Improved reading achievement

  • Improved math proficiency

  • Improved overall academic outcomes

  • Greater cooperation

  • Greater resiliency

  • Improved attention

  • Language skill development

  • Greater liking of school

  • Growth in self-directed behaviour

  • The prevention of school dropout

  • Greater self-efficacy




We are born with 100 billion neurons—poised for connection. As we encounter caring and responsive relationships, our brain’s network is wired together. Our relationships powerfully shape who we are and who we will become. Through constant interaction with others, we develop our intellectual capacity, our social and emotional abilities, and our overall sense of well-being. The brain’s architecture is built through relationships and the brain never stops developing.



For students who have adverse childhood experiences, or struggle with mental health, relationships are a powerful source of healing. Caring relationships soothe stress, calm anxiety, and let students know how much they matter. Classrooms can be safe havens for students who struggle and can enable them to trust others, believe in themselves, and flourish.



Relationship are not always easy. They can be complex and confusing. Learning how to unpack and understand relationship difficulties can enable educators to effectively respond to student struggles. Thinking relationally and focusing on what students need is the key to teaching students how to relate to others in new and more successful ways.



Outside of the home, school is the centre of most young people’s worlds. School is not just an academic setting, it is where students learn to be a friend, resolve conflict, bounce back from difficulty, and begin to define who they are. Support for students should happen in the school