University students’ conceptions and experiences of teacher care amidst online learning


*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This qualitative research aims to examine university students’ conceptions and experiences of teacher care and its pedagogical implications premised on ethics of care framed within Vygotskian social constructivism. The COVID-initiated rapid introduction of online learning platform-based study for students has caused many to critically reflect on teachers’ caring behaviors that are possible during physically-embodied pedagogy, but that is either impossible or undesirable online. This has been germane to this phenomenological study utilizing autobiographical narrations to explore undergraduates’ caring experiences as informed by their online study. Thematic analysis of their narrations identified four overarching themes, ‘Co-creation and Mutuality’, ‘Tolerance and Attentiveness’, ‘Practical and Extra Help’ and ‘Presence and Motivation’, representing their conceptions of care. We propose a model of caring pedagogy embodied in ‘Co-creation, Response-ability and Presence’ for online learning. This study contributes to enriching the conceptual knowledge of teacher care amidst online learning from university students’ perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Early online date14 Oct 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • ethics of care
  • higher education
  • online learning
  • Teacher care
  • Vygotsky’s social constructivism


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