Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Reading and empathy: seeing the world from another's shoes

"Empathy" is a popular buzzword of late. Articles explaining how reading fiction develops empathy pop up regularly in the news. That said, other voices remind us that empathy is not a magic cure-all:

"Empathy is biased; we are more prone
to feel empathy for attractive people
and for those who look like us or share
our ethnic or national background."

All of which is complex and intriguing, especially when you encounter a book that has huge kid appeal and exemplifies the sort of empathy that helps us connect across differences as Steven Arntson's The Wrap-Up List does.

My new article, "Growing Empathic Readers," appears in the spring issue of The Medium, pp. 22-23. In it, I describe a conversation with Steven in which he describes, among other things, how he successfully bridges gaps and how he's challenged students to question their own beliefs. His insights offer something for all of us to ponder!

No comments: