It used to surprise me that it became the school’s job to teach empathy. Shouldn’t parents do that? The truth is it doesn’t always happen in homes. Since children spend much of their daylight hours in school, it is a logical place to reinforce empathy as a life skill.
Edsurge has an interesting article, How to build empathy among students, that shares one teacher’s experiences:
Lessons in empathy often are taught with a focus on the individual, rather than the collective community, writes Ka’ua Adams, a ninth-grade English teacher at Kealakehe High School in Kona, Hawaii. In this commentary, Adams suggests strengthening these lessons by shifting individual activities to collective ones and focusing on care instead of skills.
Read on… (may require a free membership)
Ask a Tech Teacher has covered this topic often in the past. Here are some articles you might like:
- How to Put Kindness in Your Classes
- The Importance of SEL to Education Success
- Comics–an underused tool to boost SEL skills
- 9 Ways to Teach Tolerance
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.
6 thoughts on “Build Empathy Among Students”
I was able to read the linked article in its entirety, Jacqui. Thank it. It is excellent and so reassuring that our world and our future is in good hands. I really love this statement: ‘The classroom should be a place where a student feels safe to be fearless.’
I definitely agree with you about the importance of empathy.
Good to know. I’m not sure if it was the browser or the website, but glad it worked.
I taught empathy before it was part of the assigned curriculum. I think school is the ideal place because classrooms work best when the kids in any room care about and like each other.
While I enjoyed Ka’ua Adams’s piece, I kept thinking, in what planet do teachers ever have the freedom to go use the bathroom and leave another student in charge??? I would have been reprimanded at the least. The last time I can ever recall this happening was when I was in elementary school, perhaps some 55 years ago.
It was sweet that the student told Mr. Adams that he had his teacher’s back. I have seen many students rise to the occasion when put in a position of responsibility.
I think it’s best when authentically part of education, but I see the importance of teaching it when students don’t naturally understand it.
Agree about the teacher! Yikes! It’s why they had doors between classrooms–so the next door teacher could watch your class for a few minutes.
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