Research reveals that teachers’ relational competence is crucial for successful education. However, the field is still small and largely unexplored, and arguably needs a better and more precise theoretical starting point. This article seeks to help establish such a starting point, aiming to outline a relational framework based on the philosophies of Nel Noddings and Martin Buber. It proposes a two-dimensional conception defining teachers’ relational competence as: i) an immanent phenomenon, implying that the teacher is directly involved in an interhuman relationship, with an attitude of natural care, and ii) a transcendent phenomenon, meaning that the teacher manages social relationships, with an attitude of ethical care. The article ends by discussing the practical implications of the work.
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