Friday, January 6, 2017

Edutopia Post Describes How to Teach Empathy

Our latest Edutopia post stresses the importance of empathy—the ability to understand and share the feelings of others—and also details strategies on how to teach it.

In the post, entitled "4 Proven Strategies for Teaching Empathy," Donna and I describe shared emotional response, or affective empathy, which occurs when an individual shares another person's emotions. We also define perspective taking, or cognitive empathy, which occurs when we are able to imagine ourselves in the situation of another.

In the Edutopia post, we describe strategies that our graduates around the world use with their students to help develop both kinds of empathy, including:

  • Modeling—exemplified by teachers who serve as role models for their students and show the power of empathy in relationships as well as modeling how to be positive and optimistic about learning.
  • Teaching point of view—using examples that teach students how to see things from other people's points of view.
  • Using literature to teach different perspectives—for instance, by taking a classic story and challenging students to see it from another character's point of view.
  • Listening actively to others—which is accomplished quite well using our HEAR (Halt, Engage, Anticipate, Replay) Strategy.

We also encourage our readers to be metacognitive about empathy, being aware of your feelings and thoughts as a means of developing your ability to understand and share in the feelings of others.

You can read the entire Edutopia post at the link.

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