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Sandy Brownscombe, Ed.D. Eastern Mennonite University Health and Physical Activity Institute James Madison University Wednesday July 27, 2005. A Prof Goes to Middle School . They don’t care until they know you know who they are!!!. How do we help students develop responsible behaviors?

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a prof goes to middle school

Sandy Brownscombe, Ed.D. Eastern Mennonite UniversityHealth and Physical Activity InstituteJames Madison UniversityWednesday July 27, 2005

A Prof Goes to Middle School

they don t care until they know you know who they are
They don’t care until they know you know who they are!!!
  • How do we help students develop responsible behaviors?
  • How do students know that we care?
  • Reminders of things you do everyday that help to build community and to help students know that you care and are trustworthy.
  • Ways to help your students have a good day with the substitute teacher.
the real questions are
The Real Questions are:
  • What can I do to develop a caring and trustworthy relationship with each of my students?
  • Will my student’s that need to develop a healthy lifestyle trust me enough to risk making a change?

Does anyone care?In schools today…we hear many students complain that "nobody cares." When we talk with teachers in the same schools, we may be convinced that these teachers do care and care deeply in the virtue sense. But something has gone badly wrong. People who are trying to care and people who want to care have been unable to form caring relations. (Noddings, 2002, p. 88)

definitions caring
Definitions: Caring
  • "an activity of relationship, of seeing and responding to need, taking care of the world by sustaining the web of connection so that no one is left alone" (Gilligan, 1982, p. 62).

Definitions: Caring Teacher

  • "one who regularly establishes caring relations--not merely as one who possess certain virtues" (Noddings, 2001, p. 103).
  • "A caring teacher directs his or her energy to care for students in the form of taking action(s)--the actions required to meet the unfilled needs of the students" (Lisle, 2001, p. 140).

Definitions: Caring Teacher

  • Caring teachers view students as more important than their subject matter but understand that their task as teachers is to provide an environment where students can learn specific content knowledge as they develop as caring people (Noddings, 1984, 1992).

Definitions: Caring Teacher

  • Caring teachers develop relationships with students, listen to students, create a warm atmosphere, know students as individuals, show empathy, and meet the academic and emotional needs of their students.(Brownscombe, 2004)

Definitions: Caring Pedagogy

  • “Caring pedagogy involves meaningful and authentic relationships between teachers and students that nurture growth and facilitate learning. In 'being there' together, regarding the other as present and deserving respect in a way that transforms both" (Paul and Colucci, 2000, p. 61).

Definitions: Caring Learning Environments

  • Caring learning environments allow students to feel safe, make mistakes, and work collaboratively with others while the teachers in these classrooms make connections to students prior learning, interests, and are culturally responsive to their students.
descriptors of caring teachers














Descriptors of Caring Teachers
behaviors used by teachers to create caring learning communities
Behaviors Used by Teachers to Create Caring Learning Communities
  • the ability to reduce anxiety
  • the willingness to listen
  • the rewarding of appropriate behaviors
  • being a friend
  • the appropriate use of positive and negative criticism

(Bulach, Brown, and Potter, 1998)

research says
Research Says
  • Teachers demonstrate an ethic of care in their classrooms by the way they interact with students in and outside of the classroom and through their personal attributes (Bosworth, 1995).
classroom observation guide actions
Classroom Observation Guide: Actions
  • Actively listens to students
  • Makes eye contact with students
  • Helps students with homework
  • Varies instruction to meet the needs of individual students
  • Provides clear explanations of assignments
  • Checks for understanding
classroom observation guide actions1
Classroom Observation Guide: Actions
  • Provides students with necessary materials
  • Displays students' work
  • Adjusts the schedule
  • Maintains a safe learning environment
  • Applies consistent classroom management
  • Spends time outside of class with students
  • Collaborates with colleagues
classroom observation guide words
Classroom Observation Guide: Words
  • Calls students by name
  • Uses a positive communication style
  • Expresses high expectations for all students
  • Asks students' their opinion
  • Recognizes students for individual achievement in and out of class
  • Communicates with parents
demonstration of caring
Demonstration of Caring
  • Instruction--interactions between the teacher and student(s) and student to student that related directly to the academic structure and requirements of the classroom
demonstration of caring1
Demonstration of Caring
  • Classroom Management-the interaction between a teacher and student(s) that does not relate directly to the instructional process
  • Non-classroom Activities-interaction outside of a student's regularly scheduled instructional time with the teacher
trusting what you know the high stakes of classroom relationships
Trusting What You Know: The High Stakes of Classroom Relationships
  • Our deepest hope for our children is that they will construct knowledge in school about themselves, their community, and the world that is robust, resilient, and creative…The theory continues: for children to develop trustworthy knowledge, they must learn in the context of trustworthy relationships.

(Raider-Roth, 2005, p. 18)

trusting what you know the high stakes of classroom relationships1
Trusting What You Know: The High Stakes of Classroom Relationships
  • Sixth graders reveal the complexity and power inherent in the relationships of school
  • School is as much a product of what knowledge feels safe to share as it is a product of what they know
  • How trust between and among teachers, students, and parents in school intersect with the kind of internal trust that students must construct in order to learn effectively

(Raider-Roth, 2005, p. 5-6)

In constructing this trust in self and others, they act politically by sharing and suppressing knowledge based on their understandings of classroom relationships. They astutely identify ruptures in relationships that undermine the very trust they are trying to build. They detect such breaks in relationship by monitoring behaviors such as teachers’ responsiveness.

(Raider-Roth, 2005, p. 6)

four central features of a trustworthy teaching learning relationship
Four central features of a trustworthy teaching-learning relationship
  • the teacher’s capacity to be connected to the student
  • the teacher’s genuine interest in nurturing students’ own ideas
  • collaborative study on the part of teacher and student
  • an environment in which trust can prevail

(Raider-Roth, 2005, p. 29-30)

biggest surprise of the study
Biggest Surprise of the Study
  • Was the repeated return to the ideas of “telling the truth” and “lying”
  • Students as young as six introduced this idea.
  • “Telling the truth” seems to be an indicator of relational struggle with the teacher

(Raider-Roth, 2005, p. 123)

two strands regarding truth
Two Strands Regarding Truth
  • Being true to self: the effort to adequately represent what they know about themselves
  • Disclosure and the selection of truths that will be honored and received by those around them: students describe telling partial truths or choosing which truth to tell

(Raider-Roth, 2005, p. 124-125)

getting it right
Getting It Right
  • In this study, “getting it right” is a key cue that suggest that the students are wrestling with the ways their self-perceptions match up with their teachers’ perceptions of their work and learning. Telling the truth is a necessary next step in which they decide how much of their internal reality to share. This decision is heavily dependent on their understandings of their teachers’ expectations and experiences of them.

(Raider-Roth, 2005, p. 132)

challenges for teachers
Challenges for Teachers
  • To craft an understanding of children that allows for multiple truths, that allows them to see students as students see themselves, as their parents see them, as their peers see them.
  • To have classrooms where trusting relationships are built.

(Raider-Roth, 2005, p. 134, 168)

so what does a physical educator say
So What Does a Physical Educator Say?

According to Judith Rink (2006)

Teaching is largely about affect: adults who are caring and concerned professionals have a responsibility to:

  • help students learn and
  • promote students’ personal growth as individuals and as responsible, self-directed members of society.
Through the manner in which they interact with students, teachers can communicate a professional and supportive relationship with students that says, ‘I care.’
rink suggests the following ways to share yourself
Rink Suggests the Following Ways to Share Yourself
  • Learn students’ names and use them.
  • Be enthusiastic and positive about what your are doing.
  • Project a caring attitude toward all students.
  • Reinforce basic and shared beliefs of honesty, tolerance, respect, risk taking, and effort by modeling these behaviors, as well as reinforcing them when they occur in the class.
rink suggests the following ways to share yourself1
Rink Suggests the Following Ways to Share Yourself
  • Do not reinforce behavior destructive to self or others by doing nothing about it.
  • Do not allow yourself to become threatened by student misbehavior.
  • Make it a practice to intentionally treat all students equitably. Develop an awareness of your patterns of communication to different students.
  • Learn to be a good listener and observer of student responses.
  • Chart your life for personal growth.
the real questions are1
The Real Questions are:
  • What can I do to develop a caring and trustworthy relationship with each of my students?
  • Will my student’s that need to develop a healthy lifestyle trust me enough to risk making a change?
  • What can we do?
  • How can we help each other and our students to develop responsible behaviors?
  • ???
  • Brownscombe, S. L. (2004). Infusing An Ethic Of Care In A P-12 Learning Community: A Case Study Of Second And Third-Year Teachers. Unpublished Dissertation, Argosy University/Sarasota. Florida.
  • Raider-Roth, M. B. (2005). Trusting what you know: The high stakes of classroom relationships. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Rink, J. E. (2006). Teaching physical education for learning (5th ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill.
it takes a community to be a successful substitute
It Takes a Community to Be a Successful Substitute!!!
  • Have a folder with all of the critical information in visible location
  • Details, details and more details--much of what you do is routine and comfortable.
  • Let the substitute know when they need to take charge and when to give way to your colleague.
  • Individual lesson plans need details and what you did yesterday would be helpful.
leave detailed notes
Leave DETAILED notes
  • Attendance policies and procedures for each class.
  • Locker room coverage: who, what time, what if the other classes do not return on time--what do I do with the boys?
  • Lock down drills, fire drills--is the information available in the gym?
Sandy Brownscombe, Ed. D.

Eastern Mennonite University

Professor of Teacher Education and

Physical Education

Harrisonburg, VA

Email: brownscs@emu.edu

Phone: 540-432-4368