McConnell, Christine

Committee Member

Gottlieb, Derek

Committee Member

Youngs, Suzette

Committee Member

Stewart, Connie


College of Education and Behavioral Sciences; School of Teacher Education, Educational Studies


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



246 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


Using Nel Noddings’ definition of care as a theoretical framework (2005) alongside Elliot Eisner’s ecology of schooling (1988), this study examined how “reputationally caring” teachers approached assessment in their classrooms and their reasons for doing so. These topics were explored through interviewing and observing participants, in addition to analyzing documents related to their methods of assessment, utilizing the research methodology of educational criticism and connoisseurship. This qualitative study include four “reputationally caring” teachers. The term “reputational care” is of the author’s creation and refers to those teachers who are known by various school constituents: parents, students, colleagues, and administrators as teachers who demonstrate care by going above and beyond in their classroom, prioritizing studentteacher relationships. Individual context mattered greatly, and the study examined how the participants navigated obstacles to care within their respective environments. In addition, I considered the implications approaching assessment through a lens of care has for the field of education and for the professional development of teachers. Reputational care did not automatically carryover between communities, and detailed description of the participants’ environments and journeys to reputational care underscored the significance such an approach has for educational settings, including the introduction of Educative Care, a new contribution to the field of care and education that views teachers as empathic mentors. The participants of this study viewed their role as such, prioritizing relational care and viewing their relationships with their students and the holistic support of them as of paramount importance. This has implications for the field of education in considering the development and onboarding of teachers into new communities and for developing practices around faculty wellness, caring for those who provide care in educational communities.

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Copyright is held by the author.