Empathy Driven Social Emotional Learning (SEL): Unraveling the Role of the Teacher Through Nexus Analysis

Date

2024

Authors

Usgaonker, Madhavi Ajay

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Abstract

In the realm of elementary education, the influence of teacher empathy on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) remains a critical yet nuanced aspect. This qualitative study explores the integral role of teacher empathy in shaping SEL environments in K-5 classrooms. Teacher empathy, defined as the capacity to perceive situations from students' perspectives, fosters a supportive and understanding learning environment. The study explores the evidence of empathy in classroom practices and its impact on teachers' understanding of their role in influencing SEL instruction, with a focus on four core competencies: self-regulation, social awareness, relationship skill-building, and responsible decision-making. The research aims to understand the impact of teacher empathy on student outcomes, contributing to a positive school climate and reduced misbehaviors. Employing a nexus analytical methodology, the study delves into the teacher's historical background, interaction order, and classroom discourses. Data analysis revealed nine themes through qualitative coding, showcasing the significant role of teacher empathy in informing pedagogy for self-regulation and social awareness. While inconclusive findings were observed for responsible decision-making and relationship skill-building, discourse analysis unveiled disparities between professed practices and observed behaviors. The areas for future growth in the study included methodological constraints, contextual factors of three participants, and applicability of findings to the real-world. Recommendations encompass comprehensive SEL training, continuous evaluation of teacher empathy, and targeted professional development to enhance emotional competencies, creating an inclusive and conducive learning environment.

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Keywords

elementary, nexus analysis, role of teacher, social emotional learning, teacher empathy, teacher identity

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Department

Bicultural-Bilingual Studies