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Transcript of Empathy
Is it possible to teach it?
Develop students' capacity to see the world from the viewpoint of other people
Promote accountability by treating each child as a responsible agent
Promote the skill and courage to raise a dissenting voice
Teach real and true things about other groups
Undermine the tendency to shrink in disgust
Develop the capacity for genuine concern for others, both near and distant
Weakness and helplessness is not shameful - it is an opportunity for cooperation
1. Stepping into the shoes of another
NOT feeling sorry for them...that's pity or sympathy
2. The drive to react appropriately to another's thoughts and feelings
but attempting to transport yourself into another's lived reality
not the same as the golden rule
the essence of compassion,
the beginning of morality
"Do not do unto others as you would have them do to you...they may have different tastes" (G.B. Shaw)
We're self interested, aggressive, cruel
narrative for centuries
From what age can we take the leap of imagination and step into the shoes of another?
Basis of economics
and, by extension,
Competition drive in education
e.g Frans de Waal
Simon Baron Cohen
The empathic civilisation
Ideas for how to teach empathy in school
Focus on similarities first (common humanity)
Show unfamiliar people having familiar emotions
Focus on full range of emotions...empathy is not just about feeling sorry for people
Drama - formal/informal
Mirroring (with/without leader)
Practise active listening
Writing from 1st person (narrative/diary) -
Develop "show, not tell" writing skills
Model it - express your own range of emotions
Prime for it/Highlight it when it happens
Make it a specific learning objective/outcome
Explore children's own feelings (empathy derives from self awareness)
Direct explanation that other people's feelings may differ
Absence/Erosion of empathy
How can we lose empathy?
Incorporating empathy into teaching for social justice -
Before we seek to intervene over there,
let's understand what's going on over here that helps to make it like that over there