As a teacher, we usually encounter multiple forms of students’ behaviour in the classroom. One of the behaviours which I believe every teacher should relate where students support each other. When asking ‘why you are not participating in the classroom or what puzzling you, buddy?’ was answered by someone else, ‘Sir, she is not feeling well.’ It is interesting to see how students make themselves aware of the situation that might have shaken their classmates’ spirits. The term that relates to such behaviour can be ‘Empathy’ which means ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings.’ But how can someone genuinely understand how someone else is feeling? Are some people born with this innate ability, or is it a skill that should be learned in the classroom? Continue reading “Why Do We Need to Teach Empathy in Our Classrooms?”
Last month was a hectic and energetic month for me as I conducted educational camps in two of the major cities of Pakistan. Once again, I experienced that although people live in diverse cultural and linguistic environments, they still value certain things in their lives, which is common among us. Food and clothing are some of the things through which we can connect. Talking about connection, does it mean that feelings and emotions play an essential role in interacting with people? When students usually share something with me, they feel relaxed and secure. I experienced the same when I interacted with my students on these camps. It means even though I was utterly stranger to them moments ago, they still believe and trust me enough that they can share their issues, confusions and even fears with me. The term which I was searching for this phenomenon was ‘Empathy’.
Empathy is the ability to share and understand the emotions of others. It is a construct of multiple components, each of which is associated with its brain network. There are three ways of looking at empathy. First, there is affective empathy. This is the ability to share the emotions of others. For example, people who show a strong primitive reaction when watching a scary movie fall in the practical empathy stage. They feel scared or feel others’ pain firmly within themselves when seeing others scared or in pain. Another type is cognitive empathy. It is the ability to understand the emotions of others. Continue reading “Why Empathy? The Science Behind Understanding Other’s Feelings”