I See What You Feel: Encouraging Empathy Through the Arts
Bullying in our school and communities begins with the belief that we can harm another person with little or no consequences to ourselves. Most of us are acutely aware of how we are affected by others but are less conscious of how we effect. As educators, what can we do to encourage our students to gain a deeper sense of how our thoughts, words and actions affect ourselves, others and the environment? Martin Buber tells us that we can only grow and develop, once we have learned to live in relation to others; to recognize the possibilities of the space between us . According to Buber, the primary means to accomplish this is through dialogue. For me, dialogue includes not only the words we use to communicate our thoughts, ideas and feelings, but also expression of our physical and emotional energy. For once we come to see our emotional "states" as active and interactive, we are better able to choose how to express and direct them. Therefore, in terms of education, it is vital that students be provided with opportunities to engage in dialogue and the expressive arts in order to critically
and creatively explore how they imagine the "fluid space" between themselves and others. The purpose of this essay is to look at ways that dialogue and the imaginative arts can be engaged to encourage a sense of caring, agency and responsibility in our students and ourselves.
Published in: World Congress on Education (WCE-2018)
- Date of Conference: 15-18 July 2018
- DOI: 10.2053/WCE.2018.0028
- ISBN: 978-1-908320-91-9
- Conference Location: Dublin, Ireland