Participants in this panel discussion explore strategies for building a culture of caring in higher education classrooms.
Building a Sense of Belonging and Support
🔵 Gabriella felt cared for by a professor who reached out before the course started to understand their learning needs and summarized their input as a community, creating a sense of belonging and support.
🔵 Building a culture of caring in higher education requires a focus on solidarity rather than charity, emphasizing the mutual benefits of support and empathy.
🔵 Starting every class with a check-in and showing genuine care for students’ well-being can help create a culture of care in higher education.
“People need one thing more than anything else, the reassurance that they are a priority.”
🔵 Creating a culture of care in higher education requires adjustments to ensure that students feel cared for and connected, regardless of whether they are physically present or in different modalities.
🔵 Students in higher education are facing mental health challenges, and it is important for institutions to be adaptable and reflective in order to support their well-being.
Self-Reflection and Educator Identity
🟣 The speakers’ decision to be transparent about their relationships and disclose the layers of relationship within the classroom community helped create a sense of vulnerability and transparency among students.
🟣 “Maybe there’s something that you tried in an effort to demonstrate some care” – The speaker suggests that educators should be open to adjusting their strategies based on student feedback to create a culture of caring in higher education.
🟣 The importance of self-reflection in higher education and the need for professors to identify and address the barriers that prevent them from showing up as the educators they aspire to be.
🟣 The importance of self-reflection for instructors in creating a culture of caring in higher education.
🟣 The impact of identity and how educators show up in the classroom can greatly influence their relationship with students and the overall learning experience.
Active Participation and Collaboration
🟢 “We want everyone to be engaged with what we’re going to be discussing today as well as with each other.” – Emphasizing the importance of active participation and collaboration in fostering a culture of caring in higher education.
“When you talk about caring, it looks like good being done together.”
🟢 Abolishing the feeling of “us versus them” in the classroom promotes collaboration and a culture of caring in education.