I find that many pupils struggle to see the human being behind the news story, and in order for them to truly understand the lives of others, we must ensure that their experiences are enriched. That they learn about the hopes, fears and dreams of others. Only then can we create a tolerant society in which the value of a human being means more than their celebrity status, their wealth or their physical appearance. I believe that this project is vital for that reason.
Download a summary of our current EmpathyLab Thinking outlining why we’re doing it, the difference we want to make and the action research programme we’re planning on developing.
Here is some of the reading that is helping us shape EmpathyLab:
The words, stories, empathy and neuroscience research which is framing our thinking and the rationale for our work:
2013: New School for Social Research, New York: Reading Literary Fiction improves Theory of Mind (PDF) . Emanuele Castono, David Comer Kidd. Published Oct 3 2013 issue of Science.
2013: Emory University, Georgia: Short and long term effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain.Gregory Berns, Kristina Braine et al. Brain connectivity, Vol 3, No 6, 2013.
2008: University of Toronto: Keith Oatley, Maja Djikic, Raymond Mar.Review of General Psychology, Vol 3u (article The Science of Fiction, Keith Oatley, New Scientist, 2008).
2009: Exposure to media and theory of mind development in pre-schoolers (PDF) .Raymond A. Mar, Jennifer L. Tackett, Chris Moore. Published Elsevier, 2009.
2013: Madrid University: Improving emotional competence through mediated reading.Enrique Riquelme, Ignatio Montero. Mind Culture and Activity, 2013, Part 2, issue 3, 225-239.
2007: Queensland University of Technology: Don’t worry: promoting resilience through the use of book in the classroom (PDF) .Dr Marilyn Campbell. In Primary and Middle Years Educator, 5(1) pp. 3-8, Australian Curriculum Studies Association.
2010: University of Michigan: Changes in Dispositional Empathy in American College Students Over Time: A Meta-Analysis (PDF) . Sara H. Konrath, Edward H. O’Brien, Courtney Hsing. Personality and Social Psychology Review , 2011, 15(2) 180 –198.