The paper is about “care” in education. Nel Noddings is an educator and philosopher who is infamous for her take on the philosophy of education. The paper seeks to research Noddings and her teachings as well as the effects of care in a philosophical educational aspect. Most say that teachers who care truly make a difference and I would like to put that theory to the test.
In the spirit of Huffman and Brubaker (2009) who say caring is best assessed by analyzing encounters between teachers and students; and assuming that they have also correctly identified seven elements central to Noddings’ ethic of care (p. 36), consider the following story. After reading the story, use Noddings’ theory of care and the readings you’ve done for your paper to answer each of the questions posed below the story.
There was a little boy that attended a half day center-based program and a half day general education program. He had an IEP and was considered special needs. He was in my class for the second half of the day and was usually tired. I was doing a coloring activity with the kids when his other teacher came in for something and saw his work. She asked him why he was coloring so slowly and not staying inside the lines. He said he was tired, and she said that now he was really going to be tired because she took his work and ripped it up and threw it away. I almost died. The poor kid turned red and started to cry. I was very upset; and I can never look at this woman the same way again. I feel that was a terrible thing to do to a four-year-old special needs child. Frankly, it disgusted me.
1) a) What element of Noddings’ theory was most offended by the teacher who tore up the student’s work?
b) What makes you pick that element as the most offended?
2) What would Noddings say is a good way to
a) show the student empathy?
b) restore the student’s sense of self?
c) What makes you think those things would be empathetic and self-restoring?
3) a) Consider the response of the teacher who observed the student’s work being destroyed. (See the last five sentences of the story.) On a scale of 0-11, where 0 = “not Noddings at all” and 11 = “totally Noddings,” pick the number you think describes the way the teacher feels.
b) What makes that the right number to pick?
4) a) What would Noddings say is a good first step to take to develop an attitude of caring in the teacher who tore up the work?
b) What makes that a good first step?
c) What would Noddings advise as a second step?
d) What makes that a natural for Step 2?
5) Assuming Smeyers (1999) is right in saying an ethic of care is more a set of activities than a set of principles, what do you think is a good way to incorporate the ethics of care into preservice teaching programs?
b) What makes you think that would work to help prospective teachers learn to care?
6) What makes caring the right thing to do even if the cared-for never fully reciprocates the caring they’ve received? (For an example see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdWnH-wv_vg
For more information on Care In Education read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_childhood_education
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