Caring relationships with teachers is identified as one of the most significant factors to engaging students in their learning. While most teachers believe they exhibit caring behaviors toward students, why do so many students—especially students of color—report not feeling cared for by teachers? This dissertation research explored how care is demonstrated and perceived between White teachers and Black male high school students. The study engaged two participant groups—seven students and seven teachers—in dialogue to explore similarities and differences between their perceptions of caring, and to examine how members of each group experienced the perceptions of members of the other group. Findings indicated the complexities of establishing caring teacher-student relationships “on the ground”. Even when teachers think they are “doing the right thing”, creating caring relationships can be challenging and confusing. Many teachers confessed they believed they had been supporting Black students in their classrooms, not realizing their actions were actually having a detrimental effect on students, making them feel deficient and devalued. Other findings included teachers’ reluctance to engage in conversations about race and students’ awareness of teachers’ unwillingness and inability to address issues of race; both of which further complicate and hinder the development of caring relationships. The results of this study suggest embedding more opportunities for teachers and teacher candidates to engage in talk about race with colleagues and students in professional development and preparation programs. In addition, school leaders must create more opportunities for teachers and students to engage in authentic dialogue about race to help untangle the complexity of caring relationships between White teachers and Black students.
|Commitee:||Carr, Carolyn, Watson, Dyan|
|School:||Lewis and Clark College|
|School Location:||United States -- Oregon|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Authentic care, Black students, Critical race theory, Culturally responsive pedagogy, Ethic of care, Teacher care|
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