A Family Affair: Caring in Teaching and Implications for Teacher and Researcher Preparation
KeywordsCaring, experiential validity, oral coding, perceptual realities, qualitative tradition, quantitative tradition
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to explore how perceptions of remembered instances of teacher caring in K-College impacted the motivation of a college student. Implications for teacher preparation programs and educational research were then drawn from these perceptions. The first part of the title “A Family Affair” stems from the fact that the authors are members of the same family – Father, Mother, and Son. Both the father and mother had prior knowledge of some (not all) of the instances of caring and non-caring described by their son and thus shared a privileged insider position that offered unique insights while cooperative peer checking was used both during and after the interview to help promote the trustworthiness of findings. It was found that the degree of caring shown by teachers had a profound influence on the participant’s willingness to put forth effort especially in those courses that were not his favorite subjects which suggests that a strong connection exists between caring and student motivation. An important implication of this study is that teachers and those responsible for teacher preparation programs would benefit by being aware of the impact of caring on students’ engagement and attitude toward learning. If the ultimate purpose of educational research is to contribute to effective teaching, then the “soft variable” of caring should be considered an important component of researcher preparation. It is hoped that readers will find this study to be transferable to the degree that it resonates with their own experience as teachers, students, and parents, and which we refer to as “experiential validity”.