Teacher care and students’ sense of connectedness in the urban mathematics classroom

Tanya Maloney, Jamaal Sharif Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This multimethod study draws on theories of teacher care, dispositions, and culturally relevant pedagogy to examine how 12 urban mathematics teachers’ perceptions of their own care practices align with their Black and Latinx students’ (n = 321) sense of connectedness in the mathematics classroom. A qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with the teachers established three typologies of care: empathetic, transactional, and blended. A questionnaire measure of mathematics classroom connectedness revealed that students in classrooms led by teachers who enacted an empathetic caring pedagogy were more likely to agree that their teachers provided emotional support, their classroom felt like a family, and their contributions were valued in class. Furthermore, students’ sense of classroom connectedness mediated the link between teacher care and the students’ perceived value and relevance of mathematics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-432
Number of pages34
JournalJournal for Research in Mathematics Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Belonging
  • Care theory
  • Culturally relevant pedagogy
  • Mathematics education
  • School connectedness
  • Urban education


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