Student perceptions of teacher care: Experiences and voices of recent high school graduates
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The purpose of this qualitative study was two-fold: 1) to describe, analyze, and interpret how recent high school graduates characterize the phenomenon of teacher care as they reflect upon their high school experiences, and 2) to explore how features of Noddings’ ethic of care theory compare to the elements of teacher care as described by recent high school graduates. Qualitative, semi-structured interviews with 20 participants between the ages of 18 and 22 were conducted. Findings revealed five activities that are consistently utilized by caring high school teachers. These activities are: 1) Providing descriptive feedback on student work; 2) Responding when students do not understand what was taught; 3) Engaging students in conversations about post-high school ambitions; 4) Displaying a positive and optimistic attitude; and 5) Honoring student interests and perspectives. Findings also revealed similarities between Noddings’ ethic of care research and participants’ perceptions of teacher care. Implications for practice, for teachers and for administrators, are included.