Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis & Resolution


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Cheryl Duckworth

Second Advisor

Alexia Georgakopolous

Third Advisor

Erik Thorson


Social sciences education, Education, Community college education


In light of earlier research pertaining to empathy, it is reasonable to believe that certain teachers feel empathic toward students in remedial classrooms. It is also evident that teacher empathy is something that students relish. However, a perceived lack of teacher empathy among students in remedial classes is a concern. The general problem addressed in the study was the effect of teachers’ lack of empathy on remedial college students’ perceptions of teacher–student conflict. The specific problem addressed in the study was the limited research on the impact of teachers’ empathy on remedial students’ perceptions. The purposes of the study were to understand remedial students’ perceptions of teachers’ empathy and to assess the perceived impact of lack of teacher empathy on teacher–student conflict. Participants consisted of 10 students enrolled at Cuyahoga Community College remedial English classes in Cleveland, Ohio. The phenomenological study explored the lived experiences and perceptions of these students in developmental/remedial classes. Students participated in face-to-face recorded interviews. Data were analyzed using NVivo software. Four main themes and several subthemes emerged from the data. Recommendations were offered to help facilitate resolution of teacher–student conflicts that may emerge out of perceived lack of teacher empathy.

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