Keynote: Empathy and Engagement: (Re)humanizing the Teaching and Learning Enterprise

Friday February 24, 2017
4:00 - 5:00 PM
Pacific Ballroom

Today’s neoliberal schooling climate precludes educators from appropriately responding to the acute vulnerabilities of our nation’s most marginalized youth. There is less focus on the whole child and providing her or him with the attributes we know improve their school engagement (e.g. love, care, affirmation, support etc.), and more focus on corporatized production (e.g. test scores, state standards, and district/school bottom lines). Empathy is a significantly vital aspect of one's humanity. Empathizing is a capacity all humans possess. The application of empathy by educators to their classroom interactions demonstrates much promise for igniting student curiosity, joy, and excitement. This talk is a reflection on the intersections of empathy and engagement. The presentation will feature findings from my research on teacher empathy in multicultural classroom contexts and the utility of this construct to (re)humanize teaching and learning practices.