Authentic Caring: The Quest for Authoritative Teaching and Autonomous Learning

  • Yusef Waghid


I begin this chapter with a brief reflective account of my experience with my rooster. Considering that the rooster crows at least twenty-five times in the morning, I was concerned that my neighbours would become annoyed despite the fact that I live in a rural residential area with large open space. I decided to take the rooster to a farm but after I managed to cage him, I could see in his eyes the look of anger and frustration for not being able to graze freely. I felt very sad and decided after a while to release him. I am deeply attached to the rooster since he was a chicken and I could not dare witness his departure. When he was caged for a while, the situation evoked feelings of sadness in me and I wanted only to care for him. I could see his vulnerability in his eyes and felt that I disappointed him when he was trying to get out of the cage and knocked his head several times against the chicken wire that consequently resulted in an injury to his head. Of course, I subsequently liaised with my neighbour who confirmed that the rooster was not a disturbance to the peace as they hardly heard him. This incident with the rooster, especially when I saw blood flowing from his head, not only evoked feelings of compassion in me particularly driven by my conscience and sense of duty towards vulnerable animals, it also brought to mind three aspects of caring that I will consider in the context of Paulo Freire’s (2001) ideas on care shown towards his students: to care for students, teachers act authentically in a committed way to evoke the potentialities of their students; to care implies that teachers act with authority as they open up students to the challenges of life through questioning – a matter of stimulating students to act with autonomy; and, to care for students implies that teachers act with an ethical responsibility towards them.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yusef Waghid
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationStellenbosch UniversityCape TownSouth Africa

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