Teacher education and the enduring significance of “false empathy.”

Chezare Warren, Bryan Hotchkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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)26
JournalUrban Review
StatePublished - 2015


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