Today’s teachers face growing demands and mandates to support every aspect of a student’s academic success, with additional expectations to support students’ social and emotional needs both inside and outside of the classroom. In the face of increasing student cultural, racial and linguistic diversity, the teaching pool remains relatively homogeneous, consisting largely of white, European-American educators. This disconnect between the lived experiences of teachers and their students makes it difficult for teachers to value and connect to a diverse student body. This qualitative study explores how a collaborative multi-tiered critical professional development model between a non-for-profit organization and a University, shaped educators’ thinking about teaching, their students, and their role as change agents. The model provides sustained pre- and in-service training in social justice, empathy-building, and culturally responsive pedagogy to help teachers support diverse student groups. We present findings regarding the impact of this program on teacher practice and the ways in which teachers repositioned themselves as reflective, empathic, culturally responsive and socially just educators.
Rieckhoff, Barbara S.; Ockerman, Melissa; Proweller, Amira; and Wolfinger, James
"Building Teacher Empathy and Culturally Responsive Practice Through Professional Development and Self-Reflection,"
Journal of Vincentian Social Action: Vol. 5:
2, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholar.stjohns.edu/jovsa/vol5/iss2/8
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