Embodying care: Igniting a critical turn in a teacher educator’s relational practice
Date of this version
social justice, teacher education, whiteness, embodied care, self-study, racially diverse classrooms, culturally diverse classrooms
When a cultural disconnect became antagonistic between me and my students of color, I found myself at a crossroads as a White teacher educator: use coercion and force students to follow my directions, or care and base my responses on students’ needs. I chose the latter. Findings suggest that this choice benefited the class and changed how I see myself as a teacher educator. The construct of embodied care helps describe the turn in my relational teacher educator practice from caring intentions that were dyadic in nature to caring that uses relational means for social justice ends. Data points include field notes, analytic journal entries, email communication, course materials, student interviews, and course evaluations. This self-study research contributes to the literature on caring teaching by suggesting that, in racially and culturally diverse classrooms, caring habits can help teacher educators from dominant groups gain critical self-awareness.
Studying Teacher Education