London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Empathy as a meaningful dimension for community building

Author(s) Pergar Kuščer, M. & Cavaion, I.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2012  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell (eds.) Creating Communities: Local, National and Global  
Age group -  
With increasingly complex societies and troubled economies, issues around European identity are at the forefront of contemporary debate. Educators working with children and young people have to be especially responsive to many complexities within the school environment, such as multicultural and multilingual classrooms, for example. Empathetic understanding can play a strategic role in helping teachers to cope with this complexity. Empathy has been described as cognitive or emotional. It embeds biological predisposition, cognitive understanding and affective response. But what is the belief underpinning the concept of empathy? Are teachers fully aware of the multiple nature of empathic distress? Do they know how to guide themselves through this complex tool we are wired with? Keywords: community building, empathy, educators, students

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