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Education Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 954274, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/954274
Research Article

Caring Teaching as a Moral Practice: An Exploratory Study on Perceived Dimensions of Caring Teaching

1Department of Education, University of Kurdistan, P.O. Box 416, Sanandaj 15177-66177, Iran
2Department of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 9 (Siltavuorenpenger 5), 00014 Helsinki, Finland

Received 21 February 2012; Revised 11 June 2012; Accepted 12 June 2012

Academic Editor: Terence J. Lovat

Copyright © 2012 Khalil Gholami and Kirsi Tirri. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Caring teaching is a conceptual framework used to gain an insight into the moral aspect of teaching. Using a quantitative research approach, we studied 556 teachers in order to explore their perceived dimensions of caring teaching. Drawing on existing literature, we found that caring teaching has been elaborated in line with two broad concepts: personal care and academic care. Considering these concepts, we developed the Caring Teaching Scale with which we identified four dimensions of caring teaching: the nurturing of a student's character, didactical bias, awareness, and respectful didactics. A meta-analysis reflection suggests that the nurturing of students' characters and awareness represent personal care while didactical bias and respectful didactics call for academic care. Further analysis showed that these teachers attached more pedagogical value to personal care. Controlling for two demographic variables, we found statistically significant differences with regard to gender and caring teaching.