School of Education
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)
At-risk, Caring, Experiences, Positive Relationships
Education | Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching
Brown, Natasha, "A Phenomenological Study of the Experiences of Teachers Who Form Positive Relationships With At-Risk Students in Title I Middle Schools in the Southeast" (2019). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2073.
The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of teachers who form positive relationships with at-risk students in Title I middle schools. The theory guiding this study was Nel Nodding’s ethic of care as it relates to the teacher as a caregiver interested in the expressed needs of the students. Using a qualitative transcendental phenomenological design, 15 southeastern Title I middle school teachers were selected to participate in the study. The central question guiding this research was: How do teachers describe their experiences of forming positive relationships with at-risk students in Title I middle schools? Sub-questions to further refine the central question were: (a) What perceptions do teachers have about the factors that contribute to building and maintaining positive relationships with at-risk students? (b) How does modeling an ethic of care impact teachers’ relationships with at-risk students? (c) When modeling of an ethic of care, what do teachers perceive as the specific behaviors that help create a sense of security or belonging for at-risk students? Data collection included face to face interviews, a questionnaire, photo narratives, and a focus group. Data analysis used the Moustakas (1994) method for transcendental phenomenological research. This included the epoche, listing significant statements, writing a textural description, structural description, and composite description.