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Abstract

Teachers are ethically obligated to care for their students. One overlooked means of demonstrating care is through respect. However, because respectful behaviors are culturally dependent, exploring experiences of respect from students of color is needed to provide insight into student-teacher relationships. To understand students’ experiences of respect from teachers in the school setting, we interviewed 12 adolescents and emerging adults of color (M age = 17, SD age = 1.81) who attended Urban schools, about their experiences of respect from their teachers. We deductively and inductively coded the interviews separately for definitions of respect and experiences of respect from teachers using six themes of respect. Ultimately, youth often defined respect as the golden rule and politeness. However, when discussing instances of respect with teachers, youth described teachers demonstrating care for students’ personal lives and academic success. Our findings suggest that students identify behaviors associated with care as respectful, which diverge from decontextualized definitions of respect. Policy changes should focus on promoting student-teacher relationships, focusing on culturally sensitive teaching and caring for students. Specifically, policy should support classroom level changes, such as the co-construction of respect expectations between students and teachers.

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Creative Commons License
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