Editor's Column

By Behar-Horenstein, Linda S. | Florida Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, Winter 2010 | Go to article overview

Editor's Column


Behar-Horenstein, Linda S., Florida Journal of Educational Administration and Policy


Culturally responsible leadership, teaching, and pedagogy all rely on a common element--caring for our students. When instructors and professors in the academy care about their students, they demonstrate a willingness to groom their scholars-in-training for entrance into the professoriate. This is not the only way that professors show that they care. Caring can be demonstrated by taking time to praise a student for doing good work, expressing appreciation for their contributions to classroom discussions, as well as indicating when they have written a quality paper. When professors demonstrate caring for their students, they are also showing care for their profession. But caring is not limited to doling out compliments and praise. Caring can be shown by taking time to offer thoughtful criticism, offering directive feedback on written assignments, asking students to re-think their sentence structure or use of language, or telling them that more research is needed or that a clearer description of their argument is warranted.

Many students enter the academy in the field of education with the goal to finish degree programs. Sometimes students have a desire to become researchers, university professors, policy advocates, school principals, college administrators, community college leaders, school district central office administrators, counselors, psychologists, or teachers. At times, students come to us with the notion that they want to be scholars. We may receive them in their academic infancy--at a time when they really do not know how to read or offer a concise synthesis of the research, when they have had little to no experience in creating databases or analyzing datasets. In these instances, colleagues may take the time to teach, show, and demonstrate to students how they can develop these skills sets.

However there are also instances when colleagues show how they DO NOT CARE for students. Telling students in a public forum that they will never be scholars, asserting that they cannot teach second language learners because of their ethnic background, harassing students at their on-campus jobs, insisting they need to become fulltime students so that they can work for your research group, denigrating students and telling them that you do not have time for them, or verbally assaulting them during instruction are ways that professors exhibit that they DO NOT CARE. …

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