Friday, September 10, 2010

Care About AND Care For

The work of Dr. Nel Noddings gives us greater insights into the importance of caring and what it means for our Hispanic learners. Dr. Noddings makes a distinction between "caring about" and "caring for." We can care about many things at a distance--such as starving children in a far away country--without doing anything to change the situation. Yet, caring about can be the foundation that leads us to do something which takes us to the care for realm.

We can care about our Hispanic learners and the fact that they aren't experiencing the academic achievement that they are capable of achieving but until we care for them, nothing will change. If we stay stuck in the caring about, we will look at the data, shake our heads, continue doing what we have always done to preserve the status quo, and then blame a variety of factors other than ourselves when nothing changes. This scenario causes a disconnect with educators insisting that they care while at the same time students are crying out that no one cares about them at school.

If there is to be a change we must move to care for our Hispanic learners. To improve education for them will take more than designing a better curriculum, implementing a better form of instruction, or instituting a better form of classroom management. We must ponder on what it means to truly care for each individual student as an individual...and then do it!

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