‘If They Don’t Care, I Don’t Care’: Millennial and Generation Z Students and the Impact of Faculty Caring

Main Article Content

Amy Chasteen Miller
Brooklyn Mills

Abstract

This article draws on a qualitative study of 31 Millennial and Generation Z students to examine the meaning of teacher “caring” in a higher education context. Prior research clearly documents the importance of caring to student engagement, although much of that scholarship focuses on secondary schooling. Research also examines the changing demographics of higher education and new expectations brought to college classrooms by Millennials and others. In this article, we connect the existing research on caring and on generational differences to explore how traditional-aged undergraduates define caring and the degree to which that impacts their willingness to learn. Our findings indicate that students value approachability and relatability as traits in a caring professor; we also find that in-class pedagogical practices can dramatically demonstrate care or lack thereof. Our research suggests that the student success agenda in higher education must take in-class teaching practices seriously in order to impact students’ engagement and motivation to learn. 

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How to Cite
Miller, A., & Mills, B. (2019). ‘If They Don’t Care, I Don’t Care’: Millennial and Generation Z Students and the Impact of Faculty Caring. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 19(4). https://doi.org/10.14434/josotl.v19i4.24167
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Articles
Author Biographies

Amy Chasteen Miller, University of Southern Mississippi

Professor of Sociology and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Brooklyn Mills, University of Southern Mississippi

Graduate Student, Department of Educational Research and Administration