ERIC Number: ED308594
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Developing Models of Caring in the Professions.
Much theoretical work is being done in relational ethics, particularly the ethics of care. Models of human caring are also arising within the professions. This paper discusses feminist contributions to theories of caring, focusing on the shared premises, conflicts, and paradoxes faced by four professions (law, nursing, theology, and education), which are moving toward the development of caring theories and models of practice. Evidence shows that feminist legal theorists and educators are trying to reconstruct law on a moral foundation that stresses caring and responsiveness; interest in caring models is driving the search for a new legal pedagogy. Today's nursing theory is similarly influenced by feminist theory and grounded on the concept of human caring. Like lawyers, nurses have not yet produced mature theories of professional pedagogy. Feminist theology, with its emphasis on experience and caring for living things and the environment, shares major assumptions and goals with feminist theorizing in law and nursing. Education evinces many of the paradoxes, premises, and conflicts appearing in the other professions. The ingredients for caring theories and models are there, but have not yet evolved into a powerful alternative theory of education. Three major difficulties are: (1) the devaluation of caring activities as "women's work"; (2) dominant traditional modes of thought and practice in schools; and (3) conflict among potential allies, such as humanistic educators. Ways to empower educational caring theories and models are discussed at length. Unfortunately, the very centrality of caring in teaching and nursing has contributed to the devaluation of both professions. (112 references) (MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27-31, 1989).