Empathy in Isolation: Lived Experiences of Teachers of Refugee Children
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We conducted a phenomenological study of responses to open-ended questions by teachers of refugee children that have been resettled in the United States, Michigan. Three primary themes emerged from responses: value in empathic, reciprocal relationships; increased system capacity through programming/resources; and meaningful impact from professional development. Teachers were empathic advocates, often experiencing isolation and supported by limited resources. We apply themes to identify perceived effectiveness of advocacy as a structural mechanism used in belief formation within a sociocultural-self model. Based on Giroux, we conclude with recommendations for flexible, individualized programs that provide socioemotional support by engaging multiple systems through sustained professional development.
KeywordsEmpathy Phenomenology Refugee Resettlement Lived experience
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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