Current “Voices from the inside”: Hearing the voices of teachers and students about caring in the classroom




Fuhrman, Caroline D.

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The voices of teachers and students have identified caring as a primary need from schools (Poplin &Weeres,1992), however, teacher caring has not been previously defined or its impact on students by teachers and their students in a way that informs educators at all levels. In this study, 12 teachers, three at each level of elementary, middle and high school and 193 of their students, were asked through open ended questions to describe how teachers demonstrated care for students and how they thought caring impacted students. The data from the present study allow for speculating on a theory of teacher caring that appear to include: 1) teachers and students agree that helping and “being there” are forms of caring; 2) teachers perform these acts of caring unconsciously; 3) the students report the caring as motivating them to work for these caring teachers; 4) teachers receive invisible reciprocity of care from students; and 5) there are school level differences. The descriptions of caring and its impact deserve further scrutiny in different environments and with “non-caring” teachers.



Caring, Motivation, Elementary school, Middle school, High school, Teachers, Students