7 Demonstrations of Care – What Students Say Matter

2 min read
2 hand prints with a heart in the middle
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

Lunchable Learning is a new weekly audio series hosted by my BCcampus colleagues Leva Lee and Helena Prins. It is a bit different than most other audio podcast series in that the show is broadcast live on ds106 radio Mondays at Noon (Pacific). It features topics related to teaching & learning in higher education with guests drawn from the BC post-secondary system.

I was listening to Monday’s episode with Peter Arthur from the Okanagan School of Education, UBC and the topic was “Pedagogy of Care”.

In the show, Peter drew upon some research from Andrew Shayne Larson’s Ph.D. dissertation “Who Cares? Developing a Pedagogy of Caring in Higher Education” which involved interviewing a small group of students and asking them to talk about ways in which their instructors demonstrated that they cared. The analysis revealed 7 different ways students say that instructors showed them that they cared about them.

  1. There were both verbal and non-verbal expressions of care by the instructor.
  2. Their instructor made the effort to learn and know their name.
  3. Instructors demonstrated that they cared during their office hours. Office hours were a critical time and place where instructors can demonstrate care.
  4. They took time to get to know their students.
  5. Instructors demonstrated their care by creating interesting and applicable lessons. Instructors who demonstrated care didn’t just show up for class and wing it off the cuff. They took time to create great learning environments, and learners recognized this and saw it as a demonstration of care.
  6. The instructor made effots to address student concerns that came up during class in the class.
  7. There was an existence of a “feeling” of care.

Peter then went on to provide some examples of how he puts these principles of care into practice. Here is the full show.


Larsen, Andrew Shayne, “Who Cares? Developing a Pedagogy of Caring in Higher Education” (2015). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 4287. https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/etd/4287

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