Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


First Advisor

Dr. Rachel Schachter

Second Advisor

Dr. Julia Torquati

Third Advisor

Dr. Holly Hatton-Bowers

Date of this Version

Spring 4-26-2022


Wernick, P. (2022). Embracing a Pedagogy of Care in the Infant and Toddler Classroom. 1-50.


A MASTERS PROJECT Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Under the supervision of Dr. Rachel Schachter. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2021

Copyright © 2022 Paige D. Wernick


Care is a universal concept which connects us all as humans. Everyone comes into this world needing care and most of us will exit this world in need of care. Care is necessary throughout the span of our lives and should be considered a human right. Everyone is entitled to quality care, no matter their age or social status. The U.S. society has been entrenched in a decades long division between education and care which has historically prioritized education over care. This division has contributed to care being hidden and undervalued within the context of early childhood (EC) as a vital aspect of teaching prac- tice, particularly in infant and toddler settings. As a result, care has become associated with custodial tasks which can be done by anyone and with little training or specialization. This paper focuses on implications of integrating a pedagogy of care into EC infant and toddler settings and reasserting care as a foundational aspect of EC professional practice. The paper provides a brief overview of the history of care in the context of EC and contributing factors related to the divide between care and education, analyzes and defines care, and offers insight to the significant implications embracing a pedagogy of care may have for the field.

Advisor: Dr. Rachel Schachter