Center for Faculty Innovation

Can Empathy Be Taught in the University Classroom? (Workshop)

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Location:  Student Success Center room 4047; refreshments will be provided.

This workshop will also be offered on Fri, 22 Sep 2017 12:30 PM-2:00 PM in Rose 5110; a light lunch will be provided.

You may register for either using the linked button above.


Can empathic thinking be taught in the classroom? Recent studies suggest that today’s college students may be more isolated, less empathetic, and more narcissistic than previous generations, at a time when the world is increasingly shrinking yet also becoming more insular and divided at the same time.  The capacity for placing oneself within another’s worldview—empathy-- is thus becoming an invaluable skill. This workshop provides models for engaging students in empathic thinking through discussion-based learning, assessments articulated by scholars and teachers of empathic pedagogy, and in-class exercises that encourage students to engage with viewpoints and worldviews that may significantly differ from their own.

Faculty participants will make progress toward these program outcomes:

  • understanding some of the current pedagogical research available on teaching empathy in the classroom;
  • creating classroom activities and assessments that engage students in empathic thinking.

Faculty participants will make progress toward these teaching outcomes: 

  • Appreciating pedagogy—the art and science of teaching and learning--as a significant higher education endeavor,
  • Identifying factors that influence pedagogical choices, and
  • Creating assignments and/or courses that support higher-level learning (deep learning).

If you require non-dietary accommodations to participate in this program, please email the CFI at cfi@jmu.edu or call (568-4846) immediately to convey your needs.  We will work with the HR department to provide you with reasonable accommodations, if time permits.

Facilitator: Dr. Peter J. Eubanks, Ph.D., Dept. of Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures and CFI

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