Many educational researchers have advocated for the inclusion of prosocial behavior instruction and practice in K5 public schools along with rigorous academic knowledge. Empathy is considered a foundational social emotional skill, vital for school and life. There is positive correlation between the inclusion of empathy instruction and practice in the classroom with increased prosocial skills, school climate, and engagement. The purpose of this qualitative interpretative phenomenological study was to explore working elementary teacher perceptions of empathy instruction and practice in K5 classrooms in the Northwest United States to better understand the essence of what teachers believed to be the current situation regarding administrative support, resources, and teacher skill and knowledge related to empathy instruction and practice in the classroom. The problem was that many K5 teachers did not include explicit instruction of empathy in the classroom, even though effective empathy instruction and modeling has been shown to improve academic achievement scores, improve teacher measures of positive social emotional behaviors, and decrease negative antisocial behaviors. This qualitative interpretive phenomenological study explored practicing teacher perceptions of empathy instruction and practice in K5 classrooms in Northwestern Oregon through in-depth interviews, non-verbal communication observation notes, and researcher reflection journal. NVivo 11 software was used to analyze themes, with validation of data collection and analysis by member checking of individual data and analysis offered to participants. Study results may advance the understanding of factors that inhibit or enhance teachers’ ability to teach and practice empathy in the classroom, and aid in the development of empathy instruction and practice methods, designs, and professional development.
|Advisor:||Pellegrini, Anthony, Throne, Robin|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Elementary education, Educational psychology, Education philosophy|
|Keywords:||Character, Classroom, Elementary, Empathy, Prosocial, Social-emotional|
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