Teachers’ Caring Relationship with their Students: The case of Three Government Primary Schools in Addis Ababa

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa Univerisity


Teaching-learning process is a social activity which requires caring relationship for the realization of students’ learning. The purpose of this study was to explore the state of teachers’ caring relationship with their students in three government primary schools of Addis Ababa. From this perspective teacher-student interactions, in and out of classrooms, were considered and assessed. To this end the case schools were selected purposefully as research sites; and qualitative multi-case study design was employed. Similarly thirteen teachers, twelve students, three principals and five parents were selected as participants and data sources. Data were collected using semi-structured and unstructured interviews; classroom and out of classroom observations; document reading and informal conversations. Finally, the raw data were summarized and analyzed qualitatively in narrative and vignette forms based on participants’ views, theoretical framework of the study and my personal interpretations. Initially, it was analyzed case by case, and then followed by inter-case analysis. Mainly inductive qualitative content analysis method was used. Both the manifested and latent contents were analyzed. By referring the definitions and interpretations of caring relationship; and ‘said’ and actual observed practices of teacher-student interactions four themes were suggested; teachers’ inconsistent conceptions of caring relationships, mismatch between said and observed practices; teacher centered instruction challenges caring relationship, and teachers’ concerns about self and tasks provide little space for caring relationship. Thereby conclusion was drawn; the state of teachers’ caring relationship with their students was observed at lower level. Instead rule and principle based non-caring interactions were highly manifested in the teachers’ practices; and the authenticity of being a teacher and students’ learning were questioned. Lastly, it was implicated that further investigations about teacher-student caring relationship and teaching and learning processes are needed at the same level in primary education and other areas such as in teacher education colleges and the education system of Ethiopia as a whole for the realization of students’ learning and the benefit of human kind.



Government Primary