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Abstract

Care is essential to the healthy development of children. If care is not provided within the child’s home, the second most influential sphere within a child’s life where care can be enacted is the school. Community psychology and motivational psychology shed light into how teachers can use care to understand the child as a part of their community and use this understanding to enhance the child’s ability to learn. Education researchers have studied caring teachers to define what care looks like in practice: getting to know students personally, listening to the wants and needs of the child, their parents and the community, and using that information to aid the student in their studies. A multitude of studies have shown that these practices have measurable positive effects on students. When a teacher displays traits that their students define as caring, student achievement increases. Therefore, care is a clearly definable and measureable educational strategy that raises student achievement and should be institutionalized through education policy. Small schools and small class sizes are both effective methods of promoting care in education. However, multiyear teachers (looping) have been shown to increase student enthusiasm, parent involvement, teacher productivity and student achievement and can be implemented with no extra cost to the school. Looping is an academically effective and cost-effective way of mobilizing care in public education as supported by psychology and education research.

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