Teaching Empathy: Turning a Lesson Plan into a Life Skill

With classrooms operating more like grade factories, it’s hard to make the case for school-driven empathy. Faced with an endless cycle of memorize, drill, spit back and test, teachers have become the wardens of a new educational reality that pits the head against the heart.


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Worried about the shrinking presence

of empathy in our schools?

I know how you feel.

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Even if educators manage to skate past the dizzying array of standards and value-added evaluations, they must still contend with this fundamental divide: academic rigor, with its unflinching emphasis on measurable success, seems strangely at odds with emotional intelligence, a soufflé of moods and feelings. Which leaves many to wonder — can empathy feel its way back into the classroom?

Joe Hirsch Educator,