Teacher Education and the Enduring Significance of “False Empathy”

Chezare A. Warren, Bryan K. Hotchkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The concept “False Empathy” posited by critical race theory luminary Richard Delgado (Calif Law Rev 84(1):61–100, 1996) easily obscures White teacher’s good intentions to be effective educators of racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse students. It is argued here that critical race theory is useful for isolating and explaining how race and racism intersect the teaching and learning process. Thus, equipping White teacher candidates with the requisite skills needed to become even more aware of perspectives and behaviors reflective of false empathy. This paper explores how practicing White female teachers’ conceptions and expressions of empathy in two separate studies suggest evidence of false empathy. Findings demonstrate that false empathy may show up in three phases of classroom interaction: pre-contact, contact, and post-contact. Implications and recommendations for teacher preparation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-292
Number of pages27
JournalUrban Review
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2015

Keywords

  • Critical race theory
  • Empathy
  • Teacher education
  • White teachers

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