Twitter is the network I have continued to engage with the most since formulating our digital learning plans with Dr. Elizabeth Childs in MALAT. In a messy fashion I keep inserting myself into academic twitter truly tone deaf and awkward. I persevere because I weigh how disruptive I am being with the learning I receive and realize as educators we all want to support each other and that includes me as a learner. I promised to grow from lurking in networks to engaging and I am doing it even if I am showing people my fabulous missteps and ignorance. Eventually I will grow into being a better contributor and I trust that academic Twitters’ current tolerance of my nonsense will pay off for them one day also.

Stemming from the pandemic, a bubbling up of care conversations has occurred in my feed. Maha Bali, Breanna Clarke Gray, Robin DeRosa have all focused on Care over the past months in their Twitter postings. Of course, being a completely wide eyed newbie to theory I walked right into Twitter dialogue telling everyone my opinions on Care (I take heart because at least I am not walking in with anti-care sentiments) but not even realizing the depth of the questions  they are asking. I now understand from discussions with colleagues they are talking about CARE not care. They are talking about a moral theory, care theory and the ethics of care which is rooted in feminist theory . They are not talking about care as in how I care about my students’ success and support them towards success with encouragement and feedback. They are coming from a deeper theoretical understanding, pushing care as theory into the spotlight for us to engage with as educators triggered by pandemic conditions.

Nel Noddings’ Care Theory looks at care differently than how it is commonly understood, she looks at care not as an extension of a caring action but as a relationship where there is conscious intent in the initiator of care, an extension of care by the initiator and a desire to accept the care and acknowledgement by the receiver (Nolan, 2011). It is this theory academic twitter is bringing awareness to, that a piece of care has been missed during the pandemic and without it the relationships breakdown into transactional rather than relational. Their definition of care is rooted in this theory whereas my responses have been posted from my understanding of care as transaction.

Grant and Osanloo , advise researchers to select the theory that will create the foundation of their research (2016).  While I don’t yet know if care theory will be the foundation of any of my research I am interested in it and this interest grew from engaging with the academic networks I committed to and through that engagement deepening my understanding of care as a theory not transactional as I was understanding it.

Nolan, C. (2012) Educative encounters: An analysis of Dewey, Buber and Noddings to understand the role of encountering self, others and the world in teaching and learning in higher education. Doctoral Dissertations. 665.

Osanloo, A., & Grant, C. (2016). Understanding, Selecting and Integrating Theoretical Framework in Dissertation Research: Creating the Research for Your “House”. Administrative Issues Journal: Connecting Education, Practice, and Research. 4 (2)
DOI: 10.5929/2014.4.2.9