After claiming asylum, refugee children work to re-build their worlds across three dimensions: safety, belonging, and success. This article examines the pedagogical practices that support this work arguing that a key, but under-examined practice draws on what we have termed pedagogical love. Building on a qualitative Finnish-Australian study, we suggest that as refugee students enter schools in their host countries, pedagogical love can be created through teacher-student interactions in a range of ways despite limited shared language. Later, pedagogical practices that foster a nurturing classroom environment and help students to build a sense of belonging become increasingly important. As students settle in their schools and societies, teachers showing a belief both in the child and their contribution to their new society are crucial. We understand that these actions may be described as teachers’ professional duty of care. Yet our findings show that teachers went beyond this duty by opening their minds and hearts to the students’ lived conditions, engaging with their histories, and constantly shaping their pedagogy accordingly. These practices, we argue, are forms of pedagogical love.
- Pedagogical love
- refugee education
- teacher-student relationships