Teaching (with) love: relational engagement in educational settings




Vincent, Jennifer

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The purpose of this study was to investigate school professionals’ conceptualizations and experiences of love in their work with children. In order to investigate the place of love in educational settings, semi-structured interviews with school professionals were conducted. Results from the interviews were analysed using thematic analysis and feedback on the identified themes was provided by participants during a second phase of interviewing. There was agreement among all participants that loving practice and good pedagogical practice are compatible, and that loving practice benefits students’ overall school experience. Key similarities across participants’ descriptions of loving practice include; the importance of positive relationships and positive boundaries within these relationships, the social, emotional and academic benefits of loving practice, and the relevance of self-care. Parallels are drawn between understandings of praxis in child and youth care and loving practice as defined by the participants in this study. The roles of building community and conscious reflection in loving practice are also explored. Through this work, I hope to offer the reader an opportunity to be more mindful about the role of love in their own professional practice.



Love, Children, Education, Professional employees