Annual Editions Assignments

Lynne M. Bailey EDU 35

Fall 2002 Prof. Ross

Annual Editions, Education (02/03)

Lynne M. Bailey Fall 2002EDU 14 Professor Ross

Title and number of article (Topic: Values in Education):

Article 36, p. 199: The Sensitiveness of the Soul
by Thomas Peterson

Briefly state the main idea of this article:

Cultivating empathy and understanding towards others can assume a central role in education for understanding and character. Teachers must first experience empathy for students, though, in order to cultivate student empathy and understanding.

List three important facts that the author uses to support the main idea:

1. Students are people, too. The author relays several anecdotes that remind us of what Carl Jung said, “An understanding heart is everything in a teacher, and cannot be esteems high enough.” Given an assignment to reach out and “connect with a student whom they see as especially disconnected” had important results. It changed lives, maybe in only small ways, but changed them nonetheless for both the teacher and student.

2. One example relays the story of TJ (student) and Lawrence (teacher). TJ was described as a “loud, cocky, and obnoxious seventeen-year-old who I would regularly have to reprimand and remove from class. He had a way of just getting under my skin.” Lawrence chose to talk to TJ in a different way. He simply asked, “What can I do to help you and what can you do to help me?” This brief question, this act of making a caring effort, proved very beneficial. TJ almost immediately behaved with more respect, and actually brought his book and a notebook to class. The student was empowered enough to ask about offering a response to a group project through drawing, and the teacher discovered that TJ had a gift and was able to convey a creative and accurate solution with clarity and virtuosity through his artwork.

3. The author cautions that these relationships are not magical cures, and may open up uncomfortable boundaries that teachers will have to navigate. But they are equally, if not more so transformed by making the effort. It should not be news that showing you genuinely care about a person can have an significant effect. The willingness and effort to understand students is key to motivating them. Doing it sincerely, is what really counts. Depending upon the age and experiences of the students, we should keep in mind that we, as teachers, can have a profound effect –why not make it a good one. And by example, we will cultivate that quality in others.

What information or ideas discussed in this article are also discussed in your textbook or other reading that you have done. List the textbook chapters and page numbers:

Many years ago I was a camp counselor one summer at a girls’ camp in the Adirondacks. This was a six (or was it eight) week sleep-away camp attended mostly by children of well-off families. I bunked with a bunch of 9/10 year old girls and had evening duty with a tent-full of 13-14 year-old girls. The most valuable lesson I learned there was how unique each one was and the intricacies of some of their friendships was astounding. I got to know a number of them as “little” people and left camp a better person, and better prepared to go into a school full of children. We cannot forget that at every grade level many of them need us to make that little extra effort to know them for the individuals they are.

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