The relationship between teachers' empathy and perceptions of school culture

Educational Studies 37 (3):365-369 (2011)

This research examined the relationship between teachers? empathy and perceptions of their school?s culture. Teachers? ability to change their school?s culture might be limited by their inability to interpret and respond appropriately to student behaviour. As teachers? empathic abilities increase, it seems likely that they would be better able to understand and respond appropriately to their students. Teachers? perspective?taking was positively associated with their positive perceptions of student?peer relations, school norms and educational opportunities. Teachers? personal distress was negatively related to student?peer relations. Empathy was unrelated to student?teacher relations. It is postulated that it takes more than just empathy to be able to negotiate the complex relationship between student and teacher. With teacher training programmes currently focusing on teacher dispositions, such programmes need to focus more on training future teachers to recognise and exercise their cognitive and emotional empathic capacities
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DOI 10.1080/03055698.2010.506342
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