This exploratory study aimed to examine university teachers’ conceptions and articulation of care amidst online teaching. The pandemic-initiated sudden changes to online platform-based teaching and consequently caused many teachers to critically reflect on those affective and relational behaviors and interactions that are possible during physically-embodied pedagogy, but that are either no longer possible or even undesirable online. This has resulted in a research gap that we feel this study addresses, by drawing on the reflections and experiences of nine caring academic and teaching staff in a Hong Kong public university. Thematic analysis of these reflections relating to the practice of, and barriers to, care emphasised the overarching theme of the centrality of presence about, and for, students. This overarching theme was complemented by two sub-themes relating to ‘lacking physical presence as a barrier to care’ and ‘building an online presence for articulation of care’. On the basis of these exploratory findings, we offer preliminary arguments relating to a caring pedagogical approach underpinned by a deepening of presence and learning collaboration. This paper, we argue, adds to the body of knowledge in the under-researched area of teacher care amidst online teaching, and suggests a future theorisation of online care within higher education pedagogy.
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© 2022 NAPCE.
- ethics of care
- online teaching
- Teacher care
- technological affordances
- Vygotsky’s social constructivism