Engineering Empathy – Center for Educational Improvement

Educators at every level of schooling—from Pre-K to Higher Education—benefit from including lessons that either incorporate or revolve around the concept and practice of empathy.

Empathy is frequently posited as one step “past” sympathy—you not only can acknowledge the emotions of another person, but you can step into their shoes to the degree that you can feel the emotions they are feeling.

The inclusion of empathy in education is infrequent, and when it is included, it is targeted to liberal arts subjects like history or social sciences.

Empathy is almost never incorporated into STEM-related programs or career paths, especially in higher education. With this in mind, the advice given by David Kelley to the 2014 Class of Engineering at Dartmouth at their graduation ceremony seemed to come from left field…“Empathize.”

By Melanie Holland, CEI Intern