This single case study was undertaken to explore how an infant head teacher meets the needs of the infants, who express their desire to be cared for, in their caring encounters. Natural daily interactions between infants and the teacher were observed for approximately 10 weeks. Through the qualitative data analysis, the results of this study challenged the prevalent, simplistic image of a caring teacher and argued that a caring classroom is highly professional and educational and the infant teacher provides ‘extraordinary’ care to young ones. Furthermore, this study revealed the crucial role of reciprocity in caring encounters between the teacher and the infants, highlighting the impact of the ‘one cared for’ in the context of teaching and learning as well as the importance of modelling and mentoring caring pedagogy in the infant classroom.
- caring pedagogy
- ethic of care
- infant child care
- infant–caregiver relationship