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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr Julie Rattray

Tanga,A.L., Walker-Gleaves,C. & Rattray,J. (Published). Hong Kong Chinese University Students’ Conceptions of Teacher Care: A Dialectical Framework of Care. Journal of Further and Higher Education

Author(s) from Durham


This paper addresses Hong Kong Chinese undergraduate students’ conceptions of teacher care informed by their experiences of teacher-student relationships within university context. Utilising the concept of teacher care from Nodding’s (1984) ethics of care from a Confucian-Vygotskian perspective, this research considers emergent themes of teacher care from the narrative accounts of final-year students majoring in management and bilingual studies. Results indicate that teacher care is perceived as a deepening of trust, mutuality, responsiveness, and reciprocity between students and teachers, and an enrichment of caring scope, embodied in the conceptualisation of ‘Pedagogical Care’ to ‘Holistic Care’ and then onto ‘Sustainable Care’. A dialectical framework of teacher care within Hong Kong higher education context is proposed, based on the psycho-social make-up of students and socio-cultural context of learning. This study exposes the importance of teacher care in students’ learning as influenced by relational dynamics, and proposes the adoption of caring pedagogy in universities.