This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Five Modes of Caring Student Index




Patton, Mary

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The purpose of the study was to examine the five modes of caring for students. Using Gary Chapman’s (1992) five love languages and additional work by Noddings (1984) and Gilligan (1982), the researcher designed a study to determine if there was dominant mode of caring for second grade students in order to explore how teachers might best demonstrate the ethic of care in their classrooms. With diversity increasing in the classrooms of U.S. public schools, teachers must be well versed in how to demonstrate the ethic of care. Studies suggest that the benefits of a teacher caring for his or her students include: positive effects on students’ social and academic performance, engagement, motivation, self-esteem, and self-connectedness. Using the convenience sample of 192 Southeastern second graders, six classroom scenarios were analyzed. The results indicated that students responded statistically significantly different than expected based on the expected frequency of 38.4 for each category. This suggests that one mode of caring was not displayed predominately per participant. In regards to gender, the results indicated that male and female students did not respond statistically significantly different in terms of response patterns. Similarly, results indicated that Caucasian, African American, and Latino students did not respond statistically significantly different in terms of response patterns. This indicates that all students, regardless of race or gender, respond to various modes of caring. The various modes of caring deemed context specific, indicating that participants felt the ethic of care based off various scenarios rather than having a primary mode caring, such as suggested by Gary Chapman (1992).