North Island College Teaching & Learning Supports
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Pedagogies of Care & Kindness

Sometimes the most valuable thing we can offer our students is genuine care for them, their well-being, their happiness. Not just their grades. Not just their learning. But their whole selves. Mahi Bali, April 20, 2015

Kindness Contagion. Image created by Adam Niklewicz. Submitted for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives – help stop the spread of COVID-19.


Looking to learn more about pedagogies of care or pedagogies of kindness? Here is a curated list of some excellent perspectives on considerations for care in our courses and classes.

Facilitation – presence, empathy, awareness

Presence: create a short welcome video; add weekly announcements and β€˜check-ins’ in Brightspace or via email; provide audio / video feedback; offer synchronous meeting options

Empathy: check in individually with students; offer support (and direct students to other supports) to students who are struggling; be approachable

Awareness: survey students in first week (e.g., to find out what tech they have or what challenges they might be facing in online learning) use low-risk ice breaker activities to create community; build in regular formative feedback options to β€˜check-in’ on how students are doing

Course design – choice & challenge; control & collaboration; constructing meaning & consequences

Choice: provide different options for engaging in course content and for assessment

Challenge: encourage students to try new things and to stretch themselves; show you believe in them; assess learning through content creation

Control: allow students to create a portion of the class content, suggest ideas for assessment, and co-create grading rubrics

Collaboration: give students opportunities to learn from each other

Constructing meaning: use video as a starting point for discussion; invite students to add videos, images and other content they can find to demonstrate concepts

Consequences: have students share their work; use peer assessment

Learning domains – affective & cognitive – create learning activities and opportunities that tap into both affective and cognitive learning domains (e.g., personal reflections, opinion pieces)

Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Affective: Receiving, responding, valuing, organizing, internalizing

Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β  Cognitive: Remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, creating

Community of Inquiry – social presence, cognitive presence, teaching presence

Social presence: identifying with community, communicating in a safe space, developing relationships

Cognitive presence: meaning making through communication in a community of inquiry

Teaching presence: designing, facilitating and organizing interaction to meet learning outcomes

Create learning opportunities that activate all three aspects of presence (e.g., icebreaker, group/pair activities based on course content that build community and engage in meeting the learning outcomes, such as asking students to co-create content through websites, blogs/wikis, presentations etc.)



  • Pedagogies of Care: Open Resources for Student-Centred and Adaptive Strategies in the New Higher-Ed Landscape | Website by Contributing Authors of the West Virginia University Press (2020)


Presentations and Posts

  • A Pedagogy of Kindness | Blog post by Cate Denial (August 2019) – this is an excellent article to start with around pedagogies of care and kindness. Cate writes about her experiences as an educator changing her practices and seeing the outcomes of such changes.
  • Designing for Care: Inclusive Pedagogies for Online Learning | Presentation Text and Slideck by Jesse Stommel (June 2020)
  • Fostering Care and Community at a Distance | Blog Post as Advance Reading for a Presentation at QAA Scotland’s Online Enhancement ConferenceΒ  by Sean Michael Morris (May 2020)
  • Pedagogies of Care | Video (3 min) by Dave Cormier, University of Windsor (May 2020)
  • Pedagogy of Care – Gone Massive | Blog Post by Maha Bali, American University in Cairo (April 2015)
  • Pedagogy of Care – COVID-19 Edition | Blog Post by Maha Bali, American University in Cairo (May 2020)



Podcasts from Pedagogies of Care

  • An Online Pedagogy of Kindness with Cate Denial | Podcast for Think UDL (Summer 2020)
  • Pedagogies of Care – Digital Reading | Podcast by tea for teaching – Rebecca Mushtare and John KaneState University of New York with Dr. Jenae Cohn (June 2020)
  • Pedagogies of Care – Universal Design for Learning | Podcast by tea for teaching – Rebecca Mushtare and John KaneState University of New York with Thomas J. Tobin (June 2020)
  • Pedagogies of Care – Nerd Edition | Podcast by tea for teaching – Rebecca Mushtare and John KaneState University of New York with Dr. Jessamyn Neuhaus (June 2020)
  • Pedagogies of Care – Students as Humans | Podcast by tea for teaching – Rebecca Mushtare and John KaneState University of New York with Sarah Rose Cavanagh and Josh Eyler (June 2020)
  • Pedagogies of Care – Equity and Inclusion | Podcast by tea for teaching – Rebecca Mushtare and John Kane State University of New Yorkwith Dr. Cyndi Kernahan and Dr. Kevin Gannon (July 2020)