Empathic Teaching: Promoting Social Justice in the Contemporary Classroom

by Nicholas D. Young (American International College) , Elizabeth Jean (Endicott College, Beverly, MA) , Teresa A. Citro (Learning Disabilities Worldwide) , Aimee Dalenta (Goodwin College, USA) , Ashley Adamski (American International College, USA) , Haley Scott (American International College, USA) , Dariel T. Henry (Massasoit Community College and Regis College, USA) , Kristi L. Santi (University of Houston) , Sara J. Jones (University of Houston, USA) , Jacqueline Hawkins (University of Houston) , Gena Rotas (East Longmeadow, MA, USA) , Anne E. Mead (Danbury Public Schools) , Micheline S. Malow (Manhattanville College)

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In a world where social justice has become a buzzword, 'Empathic Teaching: Promoting Social Justice in the Contemporary Classroom' sets the record straight. With a nod to the past, the book begins by examining the foundations of social justice and then proceeds to look at classroom culture. Issues of socioeconomic status, student leadership, and extracurricular activities are discussed, and strategies and approaches are offered as examples. The book concludes with an examination of educator self-development. The authors use education as a way to counter inequality and racism, while encouraging the reader to be bold and take the next step towards equity in the classroom.

Vinnie Regan, MS, MEd,
Principal, Springfield Public Schools, Springfield, MA


'Empathic Teaching: Promoting Social Justice in the Contemporary Classroom' takes social justice concepts and applies them to the classroom to help educators make their way in this not so new world of equity education. The authors discuss social justice curricula at the elementary, middle, and high school levels and examine differentiating instruction to meet all student needs. Equally important are the chapters on religious practices in the classroom and school, as well as social success cycles, both which aim to ensure a respectful environment for students. This book covers the issues that educators, administrators, and parents need to know as social justice moves into main stream education.

Judith L. Klimkiewicz, Ed.D.
Senior Consultant for K-12 College/Career Education and Workforce Development
Commissioner's Office, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Superintendent of Schools, retired, Nashoba Valley Technical School District, MA


A gem of a book. The authors have gone to great lengths to ensure that Empathic Teaching: Promoting Social Justice in the Contemporary Classroom has all the necessary components to enlighten and infuse any educator or parent with hope for the future. Clear and practical, with a research component firmly embedded but not overwhelming, this book will be useful in strengthening existing classroom culture and curriculum based on the tenets of social justice. Regardless of your connection to education, this book will be an asset to your collection.

Isabelina Rodriquez, EdD
Executive Director, Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School, Holyoke, MA

Empathic Teaching: Promoting Social Justice in the Contemporary Classroom is written for those who are committed to employing social justice practices in the classroom. The intent is to educate the next generation to value tolerance and to have respect and empathy for others in society. While this tome will largely focus on understanding the role that equity should play in P-12 education, it will do so with an acute awareness that there are myriad factors that influence student engagement and the motivation to learn. Although some of the subjects under consideration have been written about elsewhere broadly, this tome will offer a unique contribution by examining each from a social equity perspective. As schools move to ensure a more inclusive and well-rounded student body, this book will be a substantial asset to anyone interested in advancing a social justice agenda.

1. The Leaders of Equity: Past and Present
Elizabeth Jean, EdD, Van Loan School of Education, Endicott College
Anne E. Mead, EdD, Danbury Public Schools

2. Fostering Growth in the Classroom: Climate, Culture and Supports that Make a Difference
Elizabeth Jean, EdD, Van Loan School of Education, Endicott College
Gena Rotas, MA, MSW, LICSW, East Longmeadow, MA

3. Social Success Cycles: Promoting Socially Just-Right Classroom Experiences for All Students
Jacqueline Hawkins, EdD, University of Houston
Sara J. Jones, PhD, University of Houston
Kristi L. Santi, PhD, University of Houston

4. All Money Matters: Socioeconomic Factors and the Impact on Learning
Dariel T. Henry, EdD, Massasoit Community College and Regis College

5. Religious Practices in the Classroom: Understanding and Honoring the Differences.
Nicolas D. Young, EdD, American International College
Haley Scott, MA, American International College

6. Diverse Ability Levels: Differentiating Instruction to Teach All Learners
Jacqueline Hawkins, EdD, University of Houston
Sara J. Jones, PhD, University of Houston
Kristi L. Santi, PhD, University of Houston

7. Social Justice Curricula: Design and Implementation Across the Content Areas
Nicolas D. Young, EdD, American International College
Ashley Adamski, MA, American International College

8. Student Leadership: A Necessary Component in Equity Education
Nicolas D. Young, EdD, American International College
Aimee Dalenta, EdD, Goodwin College

9. Extra-Curricular Activities: Promoting equity Outside the Classroom
Micheline S. Malow, PhD, Manhattanville College

10. Collaboration and Self-Development: Professional Learning to Reduce Bias
Nicolas D. Young, EdD, American International College
Elizabeth Jean, EdD, Van Loan School of Education, Endicott College

Dr. Nicholas D. Young, PhD, EdD, has worked in diverse educational roles for more than 30 years, serving as a principal, special education director, graduate professor, graduate program director, graduate dean, and longtime superintendent of schools. He was named the Massachusetts Superintendent of the Year; and he completed a distinguished Fulbright program focused on the Japanese educational system through the collegiate level. Dr. Young is the recipient of numerous other honors and recognitions including the General Douglas MacArthur Award for distinguished civilian and military leadership and the Vice Admiral John T. Hayward Award for exemplary scholarship. Dr. Young has written extensively in the fields of education, counseling, and psychology.

Dr. Elizabeth Jean, EdD, has served as an elementary school educator and administrator in various rural and urban settings in Massachusetts for more than 20 years. As a building administrator, she has fostered partnerships with staff, families, various local businesses, and higher education institutions. Dr. Jean is currently a graduate adjunct professor at the Van Loan School of Education, Endicott College. She has written widely on topics in education from preschool to PhD.

Dr. Teresa A. Citro, PhD, is the Chief Executive Officer, Learning Disabilities Worldwide, Inc. and the Founder and President of Thread of Hope, Inc., She is a graduate of Tufts New England Medical School and Northeastern University, Boston.  Dr. Citro has co-edited several books on a wide range of topics in special education and she co-authored a popular children’s series I Am Full of Possibilities.  She is the co-editor of two peer review journals including Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal and Insights on Learning Disabilities from Prevailing Theories to Validated Practices.

Social justice, education, diversity, equity education, bias, prejudice, white privilege, curriculum, extracurricular

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