Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
C. Michael Robinson, Ed.D.
Mary Coughlin, Ed.D.
The purpose of this study was to research if the Friendship Workshop, a classroom intervention program, would enhance the empathy development in 68 students within four kindergarten/Grade 1 classes. The quasi-experimental quantitative approach incorporated a pre/post assessment design using the Empathy Quotient (EQ) to assess parent/guardian and teachers’ perspectives of their children and students, respectively. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the results to determine if the Friendship Workshops intervention’s efficacy strengthened the students’ empathy after the children experienced it for 6 months. The data review indicated that 81% and 60% of the students demonstrated an increase in empathy from the teacher and parent/guardian perspective, respectively. In addition, further review of the responses for students who demonstrated a decrease in empathy based upon the EQ scores rendered insight that over half of the students showed an increase in four specific statements suggesting improvement in some elements of empathy despite the decreased overall score. Recommendations for further research, and potential professional development for teacher preparation programs, school leaders, and experienced teachers are provided, given the overall potential of the Friendship Workshop approach on empathy development and the focus on emotional vocabulary development, emotional recognition, and emotion regulation. There is a potential for increased empathy to impact implicit bias, thus prejudice development; therefore, further merit should be granted to the prospective impact of the Friendship Workshop approach within classroom environments.
Dehm, Danielle M., "Friendship Workshop as an intervention model to promote empathy: A program review" (2020). Education Doctoral. Paper 447.
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