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Social Psychology deals with attitudinal, behavioral, and cognitive changes that take place due to relationships forged between an individual and his/her social surrounding. It attempts to study the power of THE PERSON as well as the power of THE SITUATION, and how these two interact. The interaction between an individual and his/her social and physical environments results in complex behavioral and thinking patterns. By studying these complexities in behavior and thinking, Social Psychology attempts to uncover the answers for many social-psychological questions, and eventually facilitate meaningful living and relationships among people.
With changes and advancements all around us in a highly global world, it is important to have the school play a leading role in shaping the thoughts and aspiration of young people. The collapse in family structures and the significant neglect of children in many societies have predisposed an added role on teachers.
Teachers do not merely instruct students. In fact, classroom instruction is only a small portion of a teacher’s responsibility. More than ever, teachers are required to be caring toward their students. This ‘care’ entails a relationship that carries both the teacher and his/her students to a platform of interaction that makes success and growth possible on a progressive manner.
Students do not become successful and functional members of the society by default. There are different things that teachers do in the classroom to help inculcate the desire to become successful (in students). ‘Care’ is fundamental to all teaching-learning processes and the relationships therein. ‘Care’ should color every responsibility that a teacher holds and performs in the classroom.
Every successful individual that we encounter today bears witness to the fact that at least one teacher was caring toward him/her and made a world of difference in his/her life. Every potential that students possess come alive and shines brightly for the benefit of others because of the existence of special kind of teachers who look for the best in their students.
What we need in a world filled with ‘high-risk’ students is CARING TEACHERS whose life examples and choices of behavior in the classroom would motivate, empower and change the attitude and behavior of students for the better. When this happens, we can expect a collective success at school and in the nation as a whole.
The book “How to Become a Caring Teacher: A Daily Guide for Highly Affective Teaching” presents this attitudinal and pedagogical approach to teaching. The author is convinced that this is the type of teaching that works most effectively in the 21st century and onward. When a teacher is caring toward his/her students, every other success experienced in the classroom becomes meaningful and lead to future achievement.
The book presents the following characteristics of a caring teacher in a practical and illustrative manner, made possible by the author’s actual experiences in the classroom:
- Caring teachers are caring individuals who develop relationships with their students.
- Caring teachers hold positive and high expectations that not only structure and guide behavior, but also challenge students to perform beyond what they believe they can do. Caring teachers are concerned about building students’ competence level by being a bridge between tasks and the students themselves.
- Caring teachers place a lot of responsibility on students when it comes to learning and encourage them to participate actively in all sorts of things that go on in the classroom. In other words, caring teachers treat students as responsible and respectable people.
- Most important of all, caring teachers believe in their students to accomplish become resourceful members of the society.
Copyright June 2006 by Dr. Edward Roy Krishnan, www.affectiveteaching.com