INTRODUCTION Empathy is considered an essential teaching skill (Kyriacou, 2007). Improving empathy and perspective-taking are key points in the preparation of sport coaches and physical education teachers (Lorimer, 2013; McAllister & Irvine, 2002). Lack of empathy may affect attitudes and believes about students (De Oliveira, 2011). Considering the potential positive role of physical activity on empathy (Sevdalis & Raab, 2014), the aim of this study was to analyse the effects on empathy of two different didactic method of instruction used to organize a university workshop. METHOD Eighty-two first-year sport sciences university students (59 male, 23 female, mean age = 20.2 ±2.1 years) participated in a 12-hour workshop, that was part of a curricular course. Forty-one (control group) attended the usual program, those in the experimental group took part in activities with a strong emphasis on cooperative learning and bodily contact. To assess empathy the Perspective-Taking (PT) and the Empathic-Concern (EC) scales (Davis, 1983) were used. Participants filled in the questionnaires pre and post-intervention. RESULTS Confirming literature, at the baseline male reported significant lower values in both PT (p < .001) and EC (p = .004) scales. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed significant group X time effects in the PT (F(1,56) = 4.21, p = .045) scale in men. CONCLUSIONS Results suggest the importance of promoting physical activity-based programs focusing on the development of emotion and empathy skills in sport sciences students. The observed lack of significant effects on EC scale could be linked to the short duration of the intervention, which seems to have had beneficial effects on the cognitive (PT), but not on the emotive component (EC) of empathy. It should be considered also the difficulty to evocating, in an experimental setting, emotions close to real-life situations. REFERENCES Davis, M. H. (1983). Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44(1). doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.44.1.113 De Oliveira, L. C. (2011). In their shoes. Teachers experience the needs of english language learners through a math simulation. Multicultural Education, 19(1), 59-62. Kyriacou, C. (2007). Essential Teaching Skills, 3rd edition. London: Nelson Thornes. Lorimer, R. (2013). The development of empathic accuracy in sports coaches. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 4(1). McAllister, G., & Irvine, J. J. (2002). The role of empathy in teaching culturally diverse students: A qualitative study of teachers' beliefs. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(5), 433-443. Sevdalis, V., & Raab, M. (2014). Empathy in sports, exercise, and the performing arts. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15(2), 173-179.

Effects of a short-term intervention on empathy in first-year sport sciences university students

Gobbi E;
2015-01-01

Abstract

INTRODUCTION Empathy is considered an essential teaching skill (Kyriacou, 2007). Improving empathy and perspective-taking are key points in the preparation of sport coaches and physical education teachers (Lorimer, 2013; McAllister & Irvine, 2002). Lack of empathy may affect attitudes and believes about students (De Oliveira, 2011). Considering the potential positive role of physical activity on empathy (Sevdalis & Raab, 2014), the aim of this study was to analyse the effects on empathy of two different didactic method of instruction used to organize a university workshop. METHOD Eighty-two first-year sport sciences university students (59 male, 23 female, mean age = 20.2 ±2.1 years) participated in a 12-hour workshop, that was part of a curricular course. Forty-one (control group) attended the usual program, those in the experimental group took part in activities with a strong emphasis on cooperative learning and bodily contact. To assess empathy the Perspective-Taking (PT) and the Empathic-Concern (EC) scales (Davis, 1983) were used. Participants filled in the questionnaires pre and post-intervention. RESULTS Confirming literature, at the baseline male reported significant lower values in both PT (p < .001) and EC (p = .004) scales. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed significant group X time effects in the PT (F(1,56) = 4.21, p = .045) scale in men. CONCLUSIONS Results suggest the importance of promoting physical activity-based programs focusing on the development of emotion and empathy skills in sport sciences students. The observed lack of significant effects on EC scale could be linked to the short duration of the intervention, which seems to have had beneficial effects on the cognitive (PT), but not on the emotive component (EC) of empathy. It should be considered also the difficulty to evocating, in an experimental setting, emotions close to real-life situations. REFERENCES Davis, M. H. (1983). Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44(1). doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.44.1.113 De Oliveira, L. C. (2011). In their shoes. Teachers experience the needs of english language learners through a math simulation. Multicultural Education, 19(1), 59-62. Kyriacou, C. (2007). Essential Teaching Skills, 3rd edition. London: Nelson Thornes. Lorimer, R. (2013). The development of empathic accuracy in sports coaches. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 4(1). McAllister, G., & Irvine, J. J. (2002). The role of empathy in teaching culturally diverse students: A qualitative study of teachers' beliefs. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(5), 433-443. Sevdalis, V., & Raab, M. (2014). Empathy in sports, exercise, and the performing arts. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15(2), 173-179.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2679340
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