The facilitative and inhibitive conditions of social support: Implications to teaching and learning

Bick Har LAM, W. LI

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Social support is a conventional means that help people cope with stressful situations as well as enhance personal well-being. Based on documentary analysis, this paper attempts to build on the empirical literature of social support from the social science disciplines to generate a framework that guides its application in the field of education. However, research on social support in education is relatively scant, while the teaching profession, by nature, involves provision of support to students. Teachers serves not only as imparter of knowledge, but also important figures from whom students could expect nurturance. In this review paper, we delimit the scope on various target groups who are in need of social support in the society to stress on the importance of social support on individual’s well-being. Along this line of inquiry, we conclude various facilitative and inhibitive conditions regarding provision of social support. The results show that the relationship between the support provider and recipient affects the effectiveness of support. The outcomes of social support as well depend on timing and appropriateness of such support behaviours, such as support that mismatches with recipient’s needs may increase their burden. This review also highlights how gender, cultural and personality context influence the beneficial effects of receiving social support. While the effectiveness and applications of social support is addressed, implications of this breed of study on the field of teacher education are then discussed. A resultant framework is developed based on the findings, which can be used to guide the development of supportive learning environment and increase students’ social capital in classroom settings at the background of the twenty-first century in order to enhance their learning and well-being. On the other hand, this review discusses the potential ways teachers could offer more support to students so as to enhance teachers’ personal development and well-being.


ConferenceRedesigning Pedagogy International Conference 2017: “Education for the Future: Creativity, Innovation and Values”
Internet address


Lam, B. H., & Li, W. (2017, May). The facilitative and inhibitive conditions of social support: Implications to teaching and learning. Paper presented at the Redesigning Pedagogy International Conference 2017: Education for the future: Creativity, innovation, values, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


  • Learning environments
  • Teacher education/development


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