A Critical Phenomenology of Black and Latinx Student Trust in the Pandemic Landscape

Maria Cristina Soto, Fordham University


Increasingly, student trust occurs in more varied school environments. The empirical research on school trust has primarily examined faculty trust in students, families, leadership, and colleagues. Few studies have investigated how student trust is characterized and manifests from student perspectives. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six recent high school graduates enrolled at an American urban charter school. Collectively, participants defined trust in teachers as a collaborative bond that emerges from and is maintained through commonality and shared vulnerability. Trust emerged when teachers demonstrated a desire for and competency in their being and becoming; engaged in facilitating being and becoming in their students; and when they employed a benevolent pedagogy. A critical phenomenology, this study contributes to extant research on student trust through an emerging adult lens. It aimed to explore the what and how of student-teacher trust and to evoke pedagogic reflection among educators. Altogether, participants represented trust in their teachers as a function of complementarity (Pirttilä-Backman et al., 2017). They called for an end to perfunctory pedagogy and an infusion of humanity in physical and distance education classrooms. The researcher called for the evaluation of student-teacher relationships and more integrative teacher preparation programs that do not silo instruction from relationship development. New research might compare teacher- and student-informed conceptualizations of trust and examine its trajectory among emerging adults in other communities and contexts.

Subject Area

Education|Adult education|Educational sociology|Black studies

Recommended Citation

Soto, Maria Cristina, "A Critical Phenomenology of Black and Latinx Student Trust in the Pandemic Landscape" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30485734.