An examination of high school urban teachers' definition of 'care' and the caring behaviors they employ
MetadataShow full item record
Positive and supportive relationships, based on 'care', are considered to be mutually beneficial for students and their teachers. According to the literature, negative consequences result for students who are not engaged with teachers productively. Teachers who have difficulty establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships of 'care' with students, particularly in urban schools, receive little support. Opportunities for teachers to develop 'care' approaches are limited and are often not available. In this study following Delphi methodology, eight teachers who 'care' were identified by school stakeholders, which included parents, teachers, administrators. The concept of 'care' was explored and explicit 'care' practices were identified from interviews with 'care' teachers. Their methods were then examined in relation to the body of literature and research on 'care'. Findings reveal that 'care' approaches are being marginally implemented by the participants in comparison to recommendations in the literature, and consequently, practices are fragmented. High levels of effort, implementing frequent and in-depth strategies, are being put-forth by the teachers in the study to respond to the overwhelming needs of their students. Levels of isolation are also evident for the participants in a variety of contexts in urban schools. Community-based models and approaches are recommended to explicitly teach 'care' practices to teachers and to sustain 'care' approaches holistically.