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Empathy, Teacher Dispositions, and Preparation for Culturally Responsive Pedagogy


"Culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP) offers elaborate empirical and theoretical conventions for becoming an effective teacher of diverse youth. Empathy has been found to improve classroom teachers' capacity to (re)act or respond to youth in ways that produce evidence of CRP. However, there are too few instructive models in teacher education that help connect teacher candidates' knowledge of students and communities to development of efficacious physical habits, tendencies, and trends in observable behavior or teacher dispositions. The application of empathy operationalized through perspective taking is one such model useful to preparing teacher candidates to make professional decisions that produce evidence of CRP. Engaging teacher candidates in perspective taking-adopting the social perspectives of others as an act and process of knowing-invites them to obtain (and reason with) new knowledge of students and the sociocultural context where she or he will teach. Recommendations for modeling and practicing perspective taking in teacher education are discussed."