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ERIC Number: EJ852882
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1056-0300
Caring as Classroom Practice
Johnson, Chrystal S.; Thomas, Adrian T.
Social Studies and the Young Learner, v22 n1 p8-11 Sep-Oct 2009
When planning for the new school year, K-2 teachers might consider the benefits of creating a caring classroom. Caring has the potential to not only encourage thoughtful social studies practice, but to also enhance it. The best K-2 teachers also recognize the importance of caring in the development of responsible citizens. Such teachers plan and design their classroom environment, instruction, and the social studies curricula in ways that cultivate effective civic practice and development. Their caring classrooms promote a sense of community and safety in young children. Norms are established which value learning, high academic standards, and positive interpersonal experiences. K-2 learners feel safe when asking questions. Encouraging acts of caring helps children feel empowered and develop a moral sensibility. Acts of caring can be part of communal learning and problem-solving. Individual self-interests can be redirected toward common goals, and everybody can benefit from the outcome. For that reason, caring helps young learners to form healthy interpersonal relationships, a hallmark of elementary and early childhood education. In this article, the authors describe specific ways to create a supportive environment for social studies learning and emotional development. With deliberate planning, teachers can create a space for children that "values learning, high academic standards, and positive interpersonal experiences." The following five strategies for creating caring are presented: (1) Jobs that Matter; (2) The Caring Tree; (3) Picture Books; (4) Role Playing; and (5) Put Yourself in the Picture. (Contains 6 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800: Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A