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Empathy in Education

Author : Merlin Vimal Posted On : Thursday, 9th June 2016
Empathy in Education

Empathy can be termed as a non-cognitive skill, soft skill or social skill. It is a main thing that needs to be included in Education as it builds positive classroom culture, enables the students to strengthen relationship with other students and develops leadership skills.

Empathy means the ability of a person to understand the condition, thoughts and emotions of another person from their perspective (i.e feel the feelings of another by standing in their position). It is a positive psychological and intellectual identification process. Cognitive (empathy by thought), emotional (feel the emotions) and somatic or compassionate (feel the pain and take action) are the types of empathy.

Role of empathy in education:-

In 2012, researchers at McGill University in Montreal found a direct connection between empathy and learning capacity. It is part of social and emotional learning (SEL) as it helps the students to manage emotions, establish relationships and solve life problems. It is an underlying foundation for student-teacher interaction that enables to know and connect with each other. This help the students to get rid of stress that affects their learning, brain development, memory power, reasoning ability and self control.

Positive relationships can be developed with the help of empathy skills. It enables the students to listen to others, understand & learn verbal and non verbal cues and appreciate the differences in others. Empathy stands as a main factor in developing leadership skills in students as a leader is expected to understand the thoughts and feelings of other people, expose their care towards them and value them as this will build trust by the followers on the leaders.

Empathy motivates social behavior and enables the students to be co-operative with others which is needed for life time. To cultivate empathy for learning education institutions can include role playing games, non-cognitive skills education, promote emotional literacy and make classroom teaching interactive.


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