Ethics of Care and Education
Ethics of care is considered a feminine ethic, drawing its roots from relatedness, responsivity, and receptivity. The introduction of care ethics ended the other prevalent masculine ethics. Nel Nodding however, went a step ahead to apply care ethics to education. Caring and relationship in schools improve teaching and learning, and is a crucial factor in education.
In schools, application of the caring ethics is mainly by teachers to students. When teachers show that they care for their students, students will feel loved. If students feel this way, they will show a positive attitude toward the carer, who is the teacher, therefore, drawing more of their attention to what this teaches. On the other hand, care leads to the development of pleasant relationship between the carer and the recipient of care. Students who are more cared for will be more open with their teachers, and will be free to share their academic concerns with teachers, making the learning and teaching process easier (Smith WEB).
This theory of care ethics, if appropriately applied in learning institutions, is capable of developing a school culture and climate that is based on mutual understanding and care. This in turn boosts the learning and teaching processes in the school. When there is understanding and care between the students and teachers, they will all work at ensuring that the needs of the other are fulfilled. For instance, teachers will ensure that they teach and deliver well, helping each student understand all the concepts taught. This is appropriate especially for the low-performers, who are sometimes neglected. A teacher that employs the care ethics will pay attention even to the low-performers, and out of care, will guide them slowly through the learning process. This theory points out the importance of using an alternative to rules in schools, since rules and punishment have not achieved their goals in schools. Therefore, adopting a new approach of ethic care is imperative in strengthening the bond between teachers and students, therefore making the learning and teaching processes to be more interactive and based on care (Smith WEB).
Smith, M. K. (2004). Nel Noddings, the ethics of care and education’, the Encyclopedia of
informal education. Retrieved on January 25, 2013
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