Initial development and validation of the Teacher Empathy Scale: TES
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The purpose of this study was to develop and validate an instrument to measure empathy specifically in educators focusing on cognitive, affective, behavioral, innate, and learned constructs. The Teacher Empathy Scale (TES) is a 21 item self-report scale designed to assess empathy in secondary school teachers who teach in grades 6-12. Due to little empirical study of the socio-emotional trait of empathy within the field of education creation of this scale could facilitate the development of programs and courses that emphasize empathy training for pre-service teachers, aid in teacher recruitment, and help teachers gain insight into their own empathic tendencies within the classroom. A five phase validation structure was used beginning with initial scale design, novice review, and expert review to create a 48 item TES; followed by a convenient sample of 261 teachers who completed a working version of the newly developed instrument to assist in the establishment of content validity and 8 teachers to help with initial estimates of instrument reliability. Data was analyzed using a quantitative design focusing on descriptive statistics, internal reliability using the coefficient alpha, and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to analyze the overall hypothesized model structure. Initial findings were encouraging and support further validation of the TES.