Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Early Childhood Education

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Carol Trivette

Committee Members

Amy Malkus, Pam Evanshen


The present study sought to examine empathy and teacher self-efficacy among preservice early childhood teachers. Participants were selected from two courses in East Tennessee State University’s early childhood education program. A total of 18 students from their second year of study and 33 students from their fourth year of study participated. This totaled to 51 participants (92.2 % white, 2% African American and 2% Native American; 96.1% female, 3.9% male). An online survey that contained three sections, background information, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, and the Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale was sent to the participants. After online surveys were completed, the data was analyzed to observe the relationship between the four empathy subscales (Perspective-Taking, Fantasy, Personal Distress, and Empathic Concern) and total self-efficacy among both groups of students. Results indicated a significant positive relationship between Perspective-taking and total self-efficacy among students in their fourth year of study. The results also revealed a significant difference in the two groups self-efficacy scores. Students in their second year of study had higher self-efficacy then students in their fourth year.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.