Empathy is the word of the moment. Graduation speakers talked about the value of empathy in hard times. President Obama named it as a priority for a Supreme Court nominee -- which has been picked up by op-eds, cartoon pages and the blogosphere ever since.
Outside of the media echo chamber, there’s a growing movement to teach empathy in the classroom. The Boston Globe reports that around ten percent of schools have added social and emotional lessons to their curricula. So today, we’re considering the quality of empathy. Why is it so important? Should it, can it, be taught in school? And what does this curriculum look like, anyway?
To answer these questions, we are joined by Dr. Marc Brackett. He’s co-developer of the R.U.L.E.R model of emotional literacy and the deputy director of the Health, Emotion, and Behavior Laboratory at Yale University. For some personal perspective, Sarah Baker is also with us. She’s a writer, Word of Mouth producer, and mother of two.
(Photo courtesy of foundphotoslj via Flickr/Creative Commons)