Creating Space for Empathy in the Classroom

Written by: Casey Miles

Primary Source: Writing Rhetoric and American Cultures

In a blog post on Edutopia, Joe Hirsch asks, “can empathy feel its way back into the classroom?” To begin to answer this question Hirsch suggests considering cooperative learning in tomorrow’s lesson plan. Yes, tomorrow, like right now. Yet, instead of just throwing students in groups and hoping for cooperation, Hirsch recommends the jigsaw method, which sounds a lot like skill- and knowledge-sharing feminist collectives where each member of the collective/group learns each role and is then able to slip into any position. For Hirsch, the jigsaw method creates “points of contact between students who would otherwise not interact delivers a humbling but elevating awareness of the “other.”” Click thru to read more about Hirsch’s ideas for “Teaching Empathy.

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Casey Miles
Casey Miles is PhD student in Rhetoric & Writing, with a master’s degree in Digital Rhetoric & Professional Writing. Casey’s research focuses on queer rhetorics, specifically looking at butch ways of knowing, doing, and being in academic spaces, as well as documentary and video composition. Casey continues to work on her documentary series, The Gender Project, which explores gender, gender identity, and sexuality in everyday lives. Follow her on Twitter @soulsmiles