Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Leadership and Policies


Educational Administration

First Advisor

Zach Kelehear


This present study considers to what extent dialogue between teachers and students can support a caring environment. Research investigating behavior and qualities of effective teaching has been liked with caring relationships (Anfara & Schmid, 2007; Marzano, 2007; Noddings, 2005). "Relationships and instruction are not an either-or-proposition, but rather an incredible combination." (Brown, 2010, p. 10) The present study will examine to what extent dialogue, as one of the components of a proposed model of caring, can build a caring environment in seventh grade classrooms at a local middle school (Noddings, 2005, p.53). Specifically, dialogue skills such as intonation, empathy, respect, and listening will be explored through classroom observations, as well as interviews and surveys with students and teachers. Results suggest that the elements of dialogue skills between teachers and students support a caring environment.


© 2013, Crystal Plumley McSwain