Research PaperOther Like it I let her do 3 of my assignments already.
Carol Ann Tomlinson and Michael Murphy When we set our compass "due north" to empathy, we humanize our work in schools. Schools, not unlike hospital emergency rooms, are incessantly busy places. Those in charge must make complex decisions at wearying speed, knowing that those decisions bear strongly on the welfare of others, and yet finding sparse opportunity to reflect on their actions in the press of the day.
The question of what internal or external compass guides educators' decision making is complex as well, and in many instances, there is no evident answer.
School leaders seek to do well for the adults whose work they guide. Teachers seek to do well for the young people they teach. And yet, there are few sustained conversations in many schools about a compass we agree to use that points us to "due north"—to the direction most likely to lead us to a good place.
We make decisions Importance of leadership and community service essay curriculum too often based on documents that an external authority hands to us. We make instructional decisions to ensure that we "waste" no time in covering curriculum, so that our success and that of our students will be judged affirmatively on standardized measurements that many teachers themselves believe are oppressive and even unjust.
We find ourselves making disciplinary moves based on a uniform point system, when our students are decidedly not uniform. We adopt new initiatives with no deep understanding of their implications because, on the surface, they seem fresh or may alleviate the urgent pressures that bear on all of us associated with schools.
It's easy to interact with parents from a position of exhaustion and even defensiveness. And in all these instances, we always mean to do better.
Still, the job gets done. Good things happen in schools on a regular basis. And we move on. We must acknowledge, however, that these kinds of decisions are not pathways to lasting improvement. So, here's a question worthy of our consideration: What if our compass—our "due north" for decision making—was creating an "empathetic school"?
What if we set our sights on creating an environment where our central and shared goal, as we teach and lead, is to understand the experiences and perspectives of those who share our space and to make decisions based on what would serve them best? What promise might accrue in a school where leaders, faculty, and staff aspire to practice empathy and to support students in doing that as well?
There's reason to conclude that such an approach would result in a school that extends the potential of both the adults who work there and the students who attend—energizing a community in far-reaching ways.
Defining Empathy At its core, the term empathy suggests an ability to understand and share another person's feelings and emotions—to see things from the perspective of another and understand another's point of view. Bob and Megan Tschannen-Moran describe empathy as a "respectful, no-fault understanding and appreciation of someone's experience; as such, it is an orientation and practice that fosters radically new change possibilities" p.
Language is tricky, however, and subtle distinctions can be important. Some experts worry that empathy can lead people to feel so deeply with others that they themselves literally share the fear, pain, anxiety, or self-doubt of the person or group with whom they are empathetic.
As a result, empathy can become exhausting and disabling rather than energizing. Although there is overlap in the terms, there is an important distinction.
Compassion suggests we understand and care about what another person feels, but do not attempt to feel it ourselves. In that way, compassion, these experts say, is more likely to lead to action on behalf of another because it calls on us to be kind and to see the need for action rather than simply to experience the feelings of another.
On the other hand, the term compassion may be more deeply associated with the suffering of another person, while the term empathy may suggest being attuned to positive feelings as well.
It seems wise to seek to recognize and act on feelings like joy, satisfaction, success, and engagement, as well as feelings like distress, fear, isolation, anger, loneliness, and hopelessness. With these semantics in mind, we offer the idea of an "empathetic school. If you prefer the idea of a "compassionate school," that phrase works, too.
In either case, the goal is to humanize the work we do by understanding and learning from one another in ways that lift our work. The Merits Grounding our work in empathy or compassion is a theme in numerous, enduring bodies of work in education, psychology, and neuroscience.
Maslow's hierarchy of human needs indicates that learning follows satisfaction of more fundamental needs, such as those related to physiology, safety and security, belonging, and love—suggesting that teachers' attention to the status of those needs in students is central in grasping a young person's readiness to learn.
In addition, self-actualization, the pinnacle of Maslow's hierarchy, implies a sense of purpose, morality, and fulfillment to which a person's work should certainly contribute. Similarly, key theories of moral development such as Gilligan, ; Kohlberg, suggest a progression from focus on self and personal preference through a series of stages that increasingly value relationships and the perspectives of others, and ultimately employ universal and comprehensive principles of morality, such as mutual respect, justice, and kindness, as guiding principles for one's life.
Finally, emerging insights from neuroscience tell us that: Stress and negative classroom associations impair learning. Emotion surpasses cognition, so that when a learner feels threatened, it is unlikely that the part of the brain in which cognition occurs will function as it should.Under 35 and passionate about standards?
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‘You only get a company going where you want it to by leadership by example and by honest and endless communication’ (cited in Mullins.
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