Care in Educational Social Spaces

There has been a lot written about the potential of social media. However, there is just as much discussed around the limitations of such spaces and the ease to with which we can confirm our biases. One aspect that has arisen over time is the place and power of tribes and with this some negative attributes, such as trolling. In a recent post, Marten Koomen wonders about the place of care in such spaces.

Many educators approach education from an ethic of care and are particularly prone to bullying. As Noddings (2003) explains, a person who engages others from an ethic of care โ€œis not seeking the answer but the involvementโ€ (p. 176). Care is of primary importance in education. It is through an ethic of care that new insights and understandings become possible. When involvement is inauthentic and hostile, those engaging can experience toxicity and distress. Of course, those who approach life from an ethic of care still need to reason, but this reasoning needs to proceed with an empathy for different perspectives. It requires moral development (Gilligan, 1977; Kohlberg, 1971; Murphy & Gilligan, 1980). source

It is interesting to consider this alongside Michael Caulfield’s discussion of technology designed to meet a demand and whether spaces such as Twitter are designed to support and sabotage a culture of care?

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