Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

June-Ann Smith, Ph.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

Orly Calderon, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Efleda Tolentino, Ph.D.


An ethic of care is central to the role of teaching and educational outcomes. Many Kindergarten-College institutions have “developing caring students or teachers” as a primary goal in their mission or vision statements. However, teachers need to know how to care. The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to examine the behaviors that teachers and students perceive as being indicative of the caring teacher; and (b) to develop a guide for the core of teacher caring. These purposes were designed to help educators understand the nature of teacher caring and provide an exemplar for intentional and reflective practice as they identify areas of “care strengths” or “care weaknesses” to enhance their growth and development as caring teachers. The methodology used in this study was a mixed-methods convergent parallel design to understand, both quantitatively and qualitatively, teachers’ subjective viewpoints on caring. Data were collected from a purposive sample consisting of teachers from PreK through College in NYS. The findings suggested that (a) teacher caring impacts key aspects of teaching; (b) teacher caring behaviors are guided by seven primary values which represent the professional model of care; and (c) teacher caring values are primarily expressed using a few pedagogical practices that exemplify the caring model. The seven primary values guiding the caring behavior of teachers included: (a) supportive relationships; (b) empowerment; (c) learning and academic achievement; (d) students’ well-being; (e) accessibility, responsiveness, and flexibility; (f) comfortable atmosphere; and (g) students’ dignity.