Journal Article: The transformative potential of teacher care as described by students in a higher education access initiative


Identity Formation, Poverty, Student Attitudes, Teacher Student, Interaction, Teachers


Foster, Karen C.


2008, Nov


The "attitude-achievement gap" characterizing economically disadvantaged students of color is reexamined in a study of student perceptions of a higher education access program. Their descriptions of past and present experiences of teachers are contextualized in research citing the impact of stress, social stigma, and teacher misperceptions on economically disadvantaged students' capacity to engage with school. The contrast of their descriptions underscores the pivotal role that teachers play in shaping developing identities. Student descriptions reflect the aspects of their relationships with teachers that signify authentic care and commitment to their academic success. The findings indicate changes in students' understanding of the learning process and the connection between high school academic performance and college admission grounded in realistic self-assessment of their academic challenges. The findings suggest plasticity in educational identity development in older students and demonstrate the importance of including students' perspectives in research and evaluation of programs intended to support them. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA ) (journal abstract)


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