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Potential image: A colorful and vibrant classroom setting with a diverse group of students engaged in participatory activities, sharing their thoughts and ideas with each other and the teacher, fostering a caring and inclusive learning environment.

Cultivating Compassion in Classrooms: Exploring the Pedagogy of Care


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Question: Creating a pedagogy of care in the classroom We will now provide an example of how a higher education teacher applies relational caring in the classroom. We want to illustrate how it is possible to apply the same principles of caring professionalism to a range of contexts and situations in teaching. As higher education teachers we have observed lecturers who set the tone for cooperative forms of dialogue and sharing from the very first class meeting. Such lecturers appear able to create a caring curriculum and classroom context and maintain it by starting in an inclusive manner from their first interactions with the students. This usually starts with lecturers using inclusive and participatory teaching Strategies (Gravett, 2000: Vella, 1995, 2000), For instance, teachers may introduce themselves to students, first as individuals and then as subject specialists, and encourage students to introduce themselves as well. These introductions facilitate involvement and commitment from the very first encounter. Students usually respond by showing greater confidence in the words and actions of a lecturer who has indicated a willingness to take the lead and commit to a relationship of trust and caring with students. How do we apply this to a school! classroom? We will use three values from the work of shor, a critical educational theorist, to illustrate in practice how to apply a pedagogy of care in a school classroom. You can read more about his other values in his book listed in his the references on page 44. It is first important to understand the thinking behind method. Shor (1992) describes the following three values in a learner-centred curriculum: * * * in participation feelings, which he calls the affective component problem posing in the classroom. These values affirm the learners as ā€œresponsible, capable human beingsā€ (Shor, 1992: 21) and advance a critical and caring pedagogy for transforming education and society. Participation establishes the foundations for an interactive pedagogy from the very beginning of the teacherā€™s relationship with the learners. The affective value recognises the important link between the learnersā€™ emotions and their thinking, or cognitive processes, during learning. Problem posing focuses on power relations in the classroom, in learning institutions and in the dominance of certain forms of knowledge society (Shor, 1992: 31). In combination, these three values - participation, problem posing and an affirmation of the affective component - set the basis fora caring classroom and a caring pedagogy that challenges passive educational practices and the boredom and inertia of learners in the educational process. The value of participation in Participation enables teachers to establish and maintain conditions in which learners can enter into a caring educational relationship with them and with the other learners the class. If teachers start with participatory strategies to communicate and engage instead of with teacher-talk, they set the tone from the beginning for creating a caring community of learners in the classroom. In such an environment, each learner first enters a caring relationship with the teacher as an individual and, through that example, learns to become part of caring relationships with other learners in the wider classroom community. For example, one way to ensure this in practice is for teachers to start the year by discussing with learners who they are and why they are there. Learners should be encouraged to share these aspects of their learning with each other in a safe and secure environment, preferably in In groups of two or three (dyads or triads), prior to larger group sharing (Gravett, 2000; Vella, 1994, 1995, 2000). the group-sharing exercise, the teacher also reveals some things about herself or himself as an individual; first some personal information, such as food likes and dislikes, etc., then her or his identity as a professional specialist, by sharing expertise in guiding their learning. Through this way of teaching, learners come to see the teacher as more than just a subject specialist, but also as a person with hopes, weaknesses and expectations, as someone who has a life with all its different parts. This sharing ~ in giving and taking - creates a workable and flexible structure for establishing participatory relationships, for communication and engagement that is grounded caring within the classroom. This aspect, In our view, is missing from schools. We hope that establishing care as a foundation for teaching and learning can transform classrooms into cooperative and collaborative learning spaces where learners can work together to realise their hopes and dreams despite their different cultures, languages and religions. as The idea of participation is linked to the view of active learning promoted by Dewey early as 1924. He argued that ā€œeducation is not an affair of ā€˜tellingā€™ and being told, but an active and constructive processā€ (Dewey, 1924: 46), When you invite learners in your Classroom to participate in all matters relating to their learning, you give them a hopeful message about their worth and their ability to contribute to their own lives and society (Shor, 1992). They are encouraged to take charge of their learning and take an See active role in the educational process and in transforming society through their thoughts and actions. This participatory approach is typical of the teacher who is influenced by Noddingsā€™ views of caring discussed on Pages 30-33. Such a teacher shows learners care by considering the learnersā€™ needs and points of view from the very beginning. An example would be inviting learners to first define the concepts particular to an area of study in their own terms, language and words before introducing the academic discourse, The academic discourse could then be introduced by indicating how the particular area of study connects with the learnersā€™ world and lives, and by giving examples from the lived reality of learners, so that they can identify with it. These interactive dialogues between learners and teachers are the starting point that then becomes the basis on which to build and extend caring relationships with others, both in education and in the greater society. For example, before discussing the topic of healthy eating, it would be effective to let learners share their knowledge and experience of eating or buying different fruits. The idea is to begin with what is familiar to the learners, rather than talking only from the perspective of the teacher. Similarly, if there is a conflict between two learners, it is important to enable the learners to engage in a dialogue about the conflict, allowing them to identify the source of the problem, and then to bring the problem to the attention of the whole class without naming the two children involved, The teacher could then explore with learners the different ways in which the conflict could have been solved. The value of the affective Valuing the affective means recognising the link between learnersā€™ emotions and thinking, or cognition. Dewey (1915, 1924) stressed that learning is a social interaction, involving both thought and feeling. This suggests that teachers show students that they care for them by becoming familiar with ā€œtheir languages, their themes, their conditions and their diverse culturesā€ (Shor, 1992: 23). In South Africa this does not mean that a teacher should know all 11 official languages, but that she or he will at least know who speaks which as their primary language. Furthermore, in order for teachers to recognise and affirm learners emotions in the learning process, teachers have to know their learners as individuals. A teacher can only achieve this by carefully observing and listening to learners, by reading their texts carefully, and by searching for clues hidden in what they say and present. Learners will also only become aware that their teachers know them and care for them if they realise that they are not being treated superficially, but are regarded as people with thoughts and emotions, each socially and culturally distinct from the other. We believe this is best achieved within a caring relationship in which the teacher receives the learner as a whole person by becoming involved in the childā€™s reality (Noddings, 1984: 177-178). The value of problem posing A participative, problem-posing classroom is one in which all learners feel safe to express their feelings and ideas (Vella, 1994, 2000). According to Shor (1992), it is in this safe space of sharing that learners can begin a critical study of themselves and their society. Under these conditions, a pedagogy of caring is set in motion, in which learners are encouraged to be curious, open, hopeful and responsible, and to enjoy learning ina cooperative and critical classroom environment. The caring teacher who employs a problem-posing pedagogy and promotes critical reflection on academic subject matter, undercuts the dominance of certain forms of knowledge and offers the subject matter for comment and critique. Problem posing in a caring classroom is thus the direct opposite of transferring orā€˜pouring inā€™ information and skills in a teacher-centred classroom (Dewey, 1915: 37; Dewey, in Shor, 1992: 45). In a caring, problem-posing classroom, the role of the teacher is clear. The key to transforming topical and academic themes into worthwhile and rewarding subjects for learners is through first forming a relationship of trust with learners, using themes that emerge from the learnersā€™ conversations. The teacher who operates with an agenda of caring then determines when the time is right to introduce topical and academic themes into this framework through dialogue with the learners. This requires a sophisticated and complex understanding of the subject matter and an in-depth knowledge of the learners. In this way, a teacher operates as the ā€˜one caringā€™ and ā€œmeets the student directly but not equally ... [but] capable of inclusion ... The teacher works with the student ā€” he becomes her apprentice and gradually assumes greater responsibility for the tasks they undertakeā€ (Dewey, in Giles and Eyler, 1994: 79), Establishing and developing a caring, empowering curriculum thus requires great courage on the part of teachers in persevering in the face of disinterest, dislike and resentment from learners and their possible failure. It also requires that such teachers care enough to put the educational, moral and social needs of learners first. If teachers do not first care in the way Noddings describes, how can they be observant enough to notice and respond to the cues of disengagement and boredom learners send them? Noddings points out that authentic caring occurs when we are able to put ourselves in the shoes of others and see things from their perspective (1984: 24-26). Benefits of applying a caring pedagogy [his chapter has focused on enabling learners and teachers to become part of caring relationships in education. Learning about a pedagogy of care and how to implement it has the following benefits: * * * As Itcan help you to step outside your usual and practised ways of knowing and teaching and respond differently to your learners. the cornerstone of an education practice it forces you to consider the issue of social justice in teaching the curriculum. \tcan quide you to find your own voice and a different way of engaging your learners with the learning material. We see this as a transformative approach to teaching and learning that can challenge the routine of automatic acceptance of the traditional roles of teachers and learners. * A It can break the routine of the traditionally accepted curriculum and offer you and your learners greater autonomy by defining how learning is related to issues that affect lives, including the lives of marginalised groups in society. pedagogy of care framed by critical educational theories asks you as a student- teacher to link the process of learning with the location in which it takes place. Itis also an invitation to cross borders in the way we view and create knowledge in education. A pedagogy of care thus asks a teacher to consider knowledge that falls outside the normal boundaries (Giroux, 1993). Such ā€˜border knowledgeā€™ is often created by those on society's margins who are most influenced by issues such as class, race, gender and sexual orientation, and also by illnesses such as Aids, An example may be a knowledge of family life that some learners may bring to the classroom that differs from what is considered the norm. For instance, a learner being brought up by a grandmother on an old-age grant will have a different perception of ā€˜homeā€™ from a learner growing up with a mother and a father who have well-paying jobs. Such border knowledge becomes a resource in your studies and your teaching, because it encourages the questioning of right and wrong, real and unreal, best and worst, and fair and unfair practices in teaching. Think about how alternative sources and forms of knowledge, such as indigenous knowledge systems, can be valid forms of knowledge. These are generated outside the traditionally accepted forms of knowledge, such as scientific research written down in academic textbooks and journal articles, For example, think about how some traditional herbal remedies are effective in fighting certain ailments, but because they were not developed by scientists in laboratories, they may not be considered legitimate. Question 2 2.1. Read and find the answers on the text above and describe two ways that a teacher can show care in an educational setting.

Asked by Luis12

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Certainly! Here are two ways that a teacher can show care in an educational setting based on the provided text: ### 1. **Participation and Inclusive Teaching Strategies** Participation is a cornerstone of establishing a caring educational environment. Teachers can exhibit care by employing inclusive and participatory teaching strategies from the very first interaction with students. This fosters a sense of belonging and engagement. For example: - **Introductions**: Teachers might start by introducing themselves not only as subject specialists but also as individuals. They can then invite students to introduce themselves, which creates an initial bond and sets a cooperative tone. - **Discussion and Sharing**: Initiating discussions that allow students to share who they are and why they are in the class encourages them to become part of a caring community. This can start in smaller, safer groups (e.g., dyads or triads) before moving to larger group settings. ### 2. **Emphasizing the Affective Component** Valuing the affective component means recognizing and responding to the emotional and cognitive needs of students. Teachers show care by considering learnersā€™ emotions, thoughts, and cultural backgrounds. For example: - **Building Relationships**: Teachers should spend time getting to know their students as individuals, which involves listening and observing carefully. This helps in understanding students' backgrounds, languages, and emotions. - **Problem Posing and Critical Dialogue**: Creating a safe space where students feel comfortable expressing their feelings and ideas can foster critical thinking and engagement. Teachers can encourage this by framing discussions in a way that relates to students' lived experiences and cultural contexts, making the academic content more relevant and engaging for them. These approaches not only build trust and engagement but also promote an inclusive and empathetic learning environment where students feel valued and understood.

Answered by gpt-4o

June 20, 2024, 11:55 a.m.

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This article was generated in part by one of OpenAIā€™s large-scale language-generation model, answering user Luis12's question. Images were generated with OpenAI's AI model, DALLĀ·E 2. The Internet takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.
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Published: Thursday, June 20, 2024

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