"My ongoing quest to understand relationship as a central force in teaching propels this book. I am drawn to those moments of energetic deep learning and all that makes these powerful moments possible—as relationship, identity, and emotion form the heart of connected teaching." (from the introduction)



Harriet L. Schwartz, PhD, is professor of psychology and counseling at Carlow University (Pittsburgh, PA), where she serves as chair of the MA in Student Affairs program. In addition, Dr. Schwartz is a lead scholar for the International Center for Growth in Connection. She is at the forefront of applying Relational Cultural Theory (RCT) to teaching and learning, particularly in higher education. Dr. Schwartz also mentors students in Antioch University's PhD in Leadership and Change program in grounded theory, critical incident technique, and RCT.



This book explores teaching as a relational practice – a practice wherein connection and disconnection with students, power, identity, and emotion shape the teaching and learning endeavor. Author, Harriet L. Schwartz describes moments of energetic deep learning and approaches that encourage these moments. She calls on readers to be open to and seek relationship, understand their own socio-cultural identity (and how this shapes internal experience and the ways in which they are met in the world), and vigilantly explore and recognize emotion in the teaching endeavor. 

Connected Teaching is informed and inspired by Relational Cultural Theory (RCT). The premise of RCT is that the experience of engaging in growth-fostering interactions and relationships is essential to human development. RCT’s founding scholars believed the theory would be relevant in many different settings, but this is the first book to apply it to teaching and learning in higher education.





"This is a highly intelligent book, anchored in feeling and relationship. The timing of this exploration is exquisite. It is reassuring that Dr. Schwartz, with her “feisty optimism,” is determined to bring a relational-cultural understanding to bear on our educational challenges."

Founding Scholar, Relational Cultural Theory

"Every once in a great while a thinker comes along who upends traditional notions about how things get done. Harriet Schwartz takes on that role in her groundbreaking work Connected Teaching...Much as she does in her work with her students, she comes to us as an 'authoritative ally', imparting her wisdom through bold ideas, grace, humor, and searing questions.  In doing so, she charts pathways toward a new relational paradigm."

Senior Scholar, International Center for Growth in Connection

"In Connected Teaching: Relationship, Power, and Mattering in Higher Education, Schwartz moves the conversation about more fruitful teaching ahead in a magnificent way....Over and over, as I read, I found myself wishing I had another lifetime to teach with Harriet Schwartz’s insights in hand." (from the foreword)

Author of "Mentor: Guiding the Journey of Adult Learners"

"Relationships matter for learning. Connected Teaching amplifies the sacred endeavor to educate well with rigor and intention, while attending to a commitment to authentic inclusion and access for learners historically underrepresented in the academy. The messages of connection and vulnerability, reciprocity and intellectual mattering are explored for practitioners just starting out and tenured faculty alike. This text is required reading in the cannon of 21st Century education literature."

Kristen Shrewsbury, Assistant Professor & Coordinator of English Language Learner Services at James Madison University



For more of my work on: relational teaching and learning, intellectual mattering, teaching and emotion, and qualitative research methods, visit:




©2018 by Harriet L. Schwartz
All photos (except book cover and head shots) by Harriet L. Schwartz