CARE and care alike

CARE

C = Curious

A = Articulate

R = Respectful

E = Ethical

Many instructors are using this model in a variety of ways through their courses this semester. Here are some of the ideas I’ve heard of so far:

1) Use the CARE model and it’s corresponding Do You CARE rubric 12-22-10 as a self-assessment tool for students. Students will write reflections about their own development as ECE professionals and how they see themselves using the 4 characteristics of CARE in their daily lives.

2) Examine each characteristic of CARE as they come up in the course content. For example, in describing how to do observations, we always emphasize that students write objectively. Perhaps by being curious about what the child is doing and saying the student is more likely to write the observation using objective language. To be articulate means that a student must work to write and speak clearly to articulate complex concepts about child development to a wide audience. In developing communication skills, students and instructors can explore ways of speaking and writing clearly by focusing on the audience and reading things out loud to each other.

3) A simple CARE quiz – do students know the four characteristics and can they give examples of each?

4) Watch a video clip and use the CARE rubric to determine if the teacher onscreen is exhibiting characteristics of CARE. I have found that allowing students to use rubrics on a neutral person from a vignette or video, helps them to hone their critical thinking skills without the pressure of evaluating a classmate. As a group, students can talk together about what they see in the teacher and how it is linked to the CARE characteristics.

Lab Center teachers and directors can use the CARE model in a variety of ways as well. Hang a Do you CARE poster in your classrooms and teacher break areas. Talk about it with each other in meetings. When working with CCC students, mention the various characteristics of CARE that are involved in a particular situation. In many ways, it’s the centers that will help put these characteristics into real-life settings for our students. It’s easy to talk about being respectful, but it can be another thing entirely to be respectful during a challenging interaction with a child or parent. It’s one thing to learn about ethics and it’s another thing entirely to use the Code of Ethical conduct to guide your decision making process in real life.

The CARE model might be a good way for the academic programs and the lab centers to come together to talk about how to provide opportunities for both pre-service and in-service teachers as they develop the ECE dispositions that are most important to all of us.

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