Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Barbara Thayer-Bacon

Committee Members

Joy T. DeSensi, Olga M. Welch, Handel K. Wright


Care theory plays an essential role in school settings in relation with epistemology due to the intimate relationship between how caring the teacher is and the knowledge that students gain. However, caring has been devalued by many philosophers in the past for its feminine quality. One of the aims of this dissertation is to try to theorize caring and bring out the importance of valuing people’s various identities in developing caring relationships. In this philosophical dissertation, care theory is analyzed, compared, and evaluated from White and Black feminist perspectives, and Korean perspectives. The types of philosophical methods that the researcher uses for the analysis are analytical, pragmatic, and phenomenological. The perspectives of marginalized/minority groups are included in order to have a fuller understanding of caring and its educational implications. It is time for the one-caring to see care theory as multicultural care theory and apply caring to the one cared-for more accordingly by considering their different identities. It is important to realize that there is not a universal caring but it all depends on each individual and their unique situations. At the same time, this does not mean that general claims about what counts as good caring cannot be made, or that people from another culture cannot understand each other’s caring views and practices. People can understand caring in another culture and with the help from the outsiders and vice versa, we can help each other to enlarge our thinking and play the role of the one-caring more effectively.

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