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Preservice teacher understanding and implementation of caring teaching-learning student relationships

Daniel J Shafer, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study was motivated by the interactions I have had with preservice teachers over the past 15 years as a science teacher who builds relationships with students to impact their motivation and success in school. The research focuses on the use of specific research-based relationship building strategies used with high school biology students. The purpose of this single case study was to explore the natural phenomenon that occur in a biology classroom when a cooperating teacher models these strategies for a preservice teacher during their student teaching experience. This study was supported with high school student perception data, as well as data obtained through surveys sent to several preservice teachers that previously completed their student teaching experience with my classes. The results indicated that: (a) caring teachers go beyond the curriculum and develop caring teaching-learning relationships, (b) teachers with an ethic of care take action to show they care, and (c) the end result for caring teachers is that they find success in relationship building. This study contributes to understanding how preservice teachers develop caring teaching-learning student relationships with high school students through their use of relationship-building strategies such as: (a) begin the year with a focus on relationships, (b) greet students as they enter the room, (c) call on all students in class, (d) make time for personal interactions, (e) nonverbal communication, (f) learn student names, (g) get to know your students, (h) listen, (i) reveal some of yourself to students, (j) don’t be overly serious, and (k) model enthusiasm

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Shafer, Daniel J, "Preservice teacher understanding and implementation of caring teaching-learning student relationships" (2015). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3713886.