Role Of Empathy In Learning

The Role Of Empathy In Learning

by Terry Heick

Learning has to start and end with the self: What do I know, and how can I relate to the world around me?

If successful it should, by design, result in personal and social change through a combination of self-direction, reflection, and collaboration with ideas and the people who have them. Which brings us to empathy.

The role of empathy in learning involves a dialogic interaction with the world around us. This emphasizes knowledge demands–what we need to know. It also encourages us to take collective measurements rather than those singular, forcing us into an intellectual interdependence that catalyzes other subtle but powerful tools of learning.

Roman Krznaric theorizes that the 20th-century is the age of introspection, but the 21st is one of ‘stepping outside ourselves’ to experience the world through other perspectives, something increasingly important in an increasingly connected society, explaining, “Empathy and outrospection are tools not simply of emotional interdependence, but ongoing radical social change.”

How might you frame tomorrow’s lesson or your next project-based learning unit if you want the student to seamlessly transition between other perspectives and their own?

The Role Of Empathy In Learning