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Expert Advisors

It’s time to create an empathy revolution in education. We need to give young people the opportunity to develop their empathic abilities through stories and reading, through conversation and experiential learning. I believe that EmpathyLab can lead the way. 
Roman Krznaric

It’s not merely the ability to read that matters. It’s how and what and why we read. Literature allows us to lock minds with other people from every age and background, helping us understand not just what they think, but how they feel.
Sue Palmer

Roman Krznaric

Roman Krznaric
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Empathy – the art of stepping into the shoes of a another person and looking at the world through their eyes – is a vital life skill that every child needs to develop. It is not only a cornerstone of good relationships but a catalyst for social change. Today we are living in an age of hyperindividualism where we are constantly asking the question: ‘What’s in it for me?’ Empathy is the ultimate antidote.

It’s time to create an empathy revolution in education. We need to give young people the opportunity to develop their empathic abilities through stories and reading, through conversation and experiential learning. I believe that EmpathyLab can lead the way.

My all-time favourite empathy book is George Orwell ‘s  Down and Out in Paris and London . Swapping his nice suit for tramping gear, Orwell went on an empathic experiential adventure living in the streets of East London. It changed his life forever. When I founded the world’s first digital Empathy Library , it was a book that I made sure was in there.

sue

Sue Palmer
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Everyone agrees that literacy is important — as the American essayist Neil Postman said, ‘it brought a new kind of social organisation to civilisation. It brought logic, science, education, civilité .’ But it’s not merely the ability to read that matters.  It’s how and what and why we read. Literature allows us to lock minds with other people from every age and background, helping us understand not just what they think, but how they feel. In a digital, data-driven age, reading’s role in developing our capacity for empathy is more important than it’s ever been.

I’d never dreamed of being a teacher – my secondary education was so miserable that I vowed to keep out of schools for the rest of my life. But while at university, I was at a rather boring party and picked up a book lying on the kitchen table – An Experiment in Education by Sybil Marshall.

It was Sybil Marshall’s autobiographical account of her time as headmistress of a tiny country primary school, just after World War Two.   The previous incumbent had left the children dull, silent and mostly illiterate. By developing a curriculum based on art, music, literature and drama, Mrs Marshall transformed them into curious, creative readers, writers and thinkers.   By the end of the party, I knew what I wanted to do… and fifteen years later I too was headteacher of a tiny country primary school. It was one of the happiest periods of my life.

It wasn’t just that Sybil Marshall’s book helped me see into her mind – and understand why, having had a miserable experience of education herself, she wanted be the best possible teacher for the children in her care. It was the insights she gave into the children’s minds, and the story of how she helped them connect with other minds from across the centuries, unleashing their own natural creativity. Without that book, I might never have discovered the absolute joy of teaching.

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