The Opinions, Practices, Needs, and Demands of Preschool Teachers for the Development of Children’s Empathy Skills


Ankara Üniversitesi Eğitim Bilimleri Fakültesi Dergisi, vol.56, no.2, pp.705-758, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


This study was designed with the explanatory case study model, one of the qualitative research methods, to determine the opinions, practices, needs, and demands of preschool teachers for the development of children’s empathy skills. The study group was determined by using the snowball sampling method and consisted of 52 preschool teachers. The data were collected through a semi-structured interview form and analyzed by using descriptive and content analysis methods. As a result of the study, it was determined that the empathy definitions of the preschool teachers focused on the cognitive empathy dimension, they mostly observed behavior to understand the development of children’s empathy skills, they used storytelling/book reading method and drama and role-playing techniques, they mostly included play and drama activities, and they believed that the most important factor in the development of these skills of children was family. According to the opinions of the preschool teachers, children had family, teacher, and child-oriented needs in the development of these skills. In addition to these, it was determined that teachers needed to cooperate with families, educators, peers, and people in the close circle of the child to learn different knowledge and skills and to ensure the permanence of the skills of children, and they had family-teacher, child, and educational program-centered demands to develop children’s empathy skills. Based on these results, it is recommended to mentor teachers by observing classroom practices for empathy skills in future research, to include family education and participation studies in training programs to be prepared by researchers, and toprovide pre/in service training for preschool teachers prepared by field experts by considering the needs and demands of teachers.