Challenges Enacting Caring Teacher Education

By Goldstein, Lisa S.; Freedman, Debra | Journal of Teacher Education, November-December 2003 | Go to article overview

Challenges Enacting Caring Teacher Education


Goldstein, Lisa S., Freedman, Debra, Journal of Teacher Education


Caring is widely believed to be a central facet of teaching. Kohl (1984), for example, asserted that "a teacher has an obligation to care about every student" (p. 66). Rogers & Webb (1991) insisted that "good teachers care, and good teaching is inextricably linked to specific acts of caring" (p. 174). This holds true regardless of the age of the learners: Scholars have argued for the importance of caring teaching in work with students in early childhood educational settings (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997), elementary schools (Charney, 1991), secondary schools (Noddings, 1992), and higher education (Thayer-Bacon & Bacon, 1996). Caring's power has been documented across all subject areas. In the past decade, journal articles have described the importance of caring in the teaching of mathematics (Robicheaux, 1996), science (Sickle & Spector, 1996), social studies (Alter, 1995), language arts (Lamme & McKinley, 1992), and educational technology (Damarin, 1994).

Preservice teachers generally enter their professional preparation experiences confident about their ability to care for their students (Weinstein, 1998). However, like all of the skills, attitudes, and dispositions required to teach well, caring is not always as easy as it may look to novices. Researchers have found preservice teachers struggling with issues related to caring teaching during their field experiences. For example, both Weinstein (1998) and McLaughlin (1991) documented preservice teachers wrestling with the tension between caring and control. Bullough and Knowles (1991) and Burgess and Carter (1992) discussed the challenges faced as preservice teachers con front the mismatch between their view of teaching as similar to motherly nurturing and the realities of teaching in their field-placement classrooms.

To prepare teachers who will be able to draw on caring to build a strong foundation for their professional practices, we must create teacher education programs specifically focused toward this goal (Goodlad, Soder, & Sirotnik, 1990). As Arnstine (1990) said, "If teacher educators want to further the aims of caring ... in schooling, then the means must be the cultivation of appropriate activities in the teacher education program" (p. 244). Teacher educators do not need to teach preservice teachers how to care; however, we do need to help them understand the role of caring in teaching and prepare them to teach in ways that draw on the power of caring relationships in teaching and learning.

Arnstine (1990) suggested two educational experiences that could be incorporated into a teacher education program designed to prepare caring teachers: participation in collaborative learning communities and activities that link theory to practice. Service learning (Swick, 1999) and narrative case studies (Rosiek, 1994) have also been put forth as activities appropriate for care-centered teacher education. In this article, we examine in close detail the use of another potentially appropriate activity, dialogue journals, in a teacher education course taught by the first author of this article, henceforth referred to as Lisa.

The dialogue journal activity that is the focus of this article was selected as a central feature of Lisa's course because it responds to Nel Noddings's (1986) call for dialogue and confirmation as key features of caring teacher education. Because of this apparent alignment, we were surprised to find the intended outcomes of the activity--preservice teachers developing richer understandings of the relationship of caring and teaching and growing in professional capability and confidence--were not broadly achieved. Quite unexpectedly, the dialogue journals revealed some preservice teachers developing negative, judgmental, and adversarial attitudes toward the parents of the children in their placement classrooms.

In this article, we offer a close examination of the dialogue journal activity, which reveals that the weak link was not the activity itself but the specific details of the teaching-learning interactions occurring within the activity.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Challenges Enacting Caring Teacher Education
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.