Building an Empathetic
Student Writing
Community
Caitlin Krause, Zurich International School
Zurich, Switzerland
caitlin.k...
Each student entering a classroom
carries with him/her
an individual identity:
a history,
a set of hopes;
a set of fears.
...
“a positive place”
“recognized me as a person”
“gave me sense of belonging”
“challenged and encouraged me”
“made me laugh”...
“We write who we are.”
We all have stories to tell…
Empathy
is the (missing?) link
Em (in) Pathy (feeling)
“Empathy enables us to reach out
and connect with others in our hum...
Arguments for Empathy in Education:
Daniel Pink and the Conceptual Age, need to:
“create artistic and emotional beauty, to...
Howard Gardner’s Frames of Mind
and Multiple Intelligences:
Interpersonal intelligence is the
“capacity to understand the
...
Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky’s research,
“constructivism” revolution in learning
theories: children are unique learners,
a...
Problem-based learning:
“Built into this strategy itself, separate from the topic being
taught, is the need for students t...
Students self-reflect about writing, journals, and
various styles.
They have voice:
Karim: http://blogs.zis.ch/13429/
Liza...
What is my identity in the classroom?
Who is the one who teaches? / Who is the one who writes?
Will I allow my students to...
Author Dr. Thomas Lewis discusses "The Neuroscience of
Empathy" as part of the Authors@Google series:
http://www.youtube.c...
“Good teaching cannot be reduced
to technique; good teaching comes from the
identity and integrity of the teacher.”
“Relat...
ETYMOLOGY of NAME quickwrite:
Who we are informs how we write. Passions,
hopes, joys, fears… names
Write for 2 minutes abo...
Sharing is optional…
yet, encouraged!
from Writing for Your Life by Deena Metzger
Sharing is optional…
yet, encouraged!
When we share in an empathy exercise,
goal is to listen; to understand; to connect.
...
First Steps in Writing & Sharing
• When giving in-class empathetic “quickwrites”,
consider using a short reading that stud...
Eliminate fear= +community = +sharing!
You set the tone as a writing mentor, but students are
the true leaders in the clas...
In some classrooms, there is no “front”,
because everyone has a chance to face each other.
Take a moment to share with tho...
• Building empathy takes time, care and
patience… teaching listening and responding
• Who are we when we teach/write/learn...
Writing is not a lonely activity;
the process thrives on interaction and
understanding of others (empathy).
Empathy and Mindfulness:
As we seek to understand others,
pausing to be mindful of ourselves
and the surrounding world is ...
Empathy and Mindfulness
“Recent findings… confirm that even relatively brief
training in meditative techniques can alter n...
Pause for Mindfulness: Are you aware of
yourself, and your 5 senses?
How can you describe the space around you?
“Music is ...
Play music as background for students, for example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYIfiQlfaas
http://www.youtube.com/watc...
Empathy-Building Exercises:
Spoken Word Poetry:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0snNB1yS3IE&feature=
Sarah Kay shares how s...
Classrooms
Invite Sharing
Writing
Has a Voice
Reaction & Debate: Two Sides
Empathetic Quickwrite:
3 nouns, 2 verbs news story
Show that action and news
hinge on certain parts of speech;
good summar...
Connect with Students
on TitanPad;
let them respond to readings,
self-assess, and respond
to each other in live time:
http...
StudentWriting about Zeitgeist
http://www.google.com/zeitgeist/2012/#the-world
“The Spirit of theTimes”: Global Connection...
Art Evokes Empathy: Ekphrasis Poems (Student Poetry
in Response to Student Art):
Student Writing Sample 3, continued – notice how the
following responds to the same student artwork differently:
Student Writing Sample – What Would You Give Up?
Response to poem by Marie Howe:
"A need to hear and tell stories is
essential to human beings,
second in necessity apparently
after nourishment
and before...
"If you can learn a simple trick, Scout,
you'll get along a lot better with all kinds
of folks. You never really understan...
“I believe in empathy. I believe in the kind of
empathy that is created through imagination and
through intimate, personal...
Empathy
is at the heart
of a writing classroom,
allowing each member
to value one another;
to share and learn
with authent...
Additional Empathy-Building Writing Prompts:
Beginning of School and Index cards
MAD GLAD SAD SCARED
“Pacman” Main Charact...
Additional Materials and Writing Prompts:
Short Stories: VCPDMS
Hyperbole/Understatement
Rants and Raves
Music Thesis Stat...
Additional Materials andWriting Prompts:
Solstice, Equinox andVivaldi’s Four Seasons
Poetry Out Loud
Universal School Read...
Empathy –Related Sources & Websites:
Forbes Article “Why We Should Teach Empathy to Improve Education and Test Scores”:
ht...
Useful Websites
WAC introduction & Q&A, Colorado State:
http://wac.colostate.edu/intro/
42 MS writing exercises:
http://ww...
Caitlin Krause
caitlin.krause@gmail.com
www.caitlinkrause.tumblr.com/
@CKwriter
www.flickr.com/caitlinkrause
"All of our w...
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Building an Empathetic Writing Community BLC 13

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Recent surges in technological innovation connect educational communities worldwide, and have certainly changed the face of learning. Through various forms of media, we are each consumers and producers of stories that serve to connect us with others. This new wave of expression drives us to become not only informed learners, but empathetic global citizens. This hands-on session focuses on strategies to:
- build a writing community within the classroom that focuses on empathy, trust, and the ability to understand others on a global scale
- use interactive writing prompts that engage students
- involve art and photography as a connective storytelling tool
- encourage students to explore various styles, finding their own authentic voices

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Transcript of "Building an Empathetic Writing Community BLC 13"

  1. 1. Building an Empathetic Student Writing Community Caitlin Krause, Zurich International School Zurich, Switzerland caitlin.krause@gmail.com
  2. 2. Each student entering a classroom carries with him/her an individual identity: a history, a set of hopes; a set of fears. Think back to your own student experiences, and to a class that you enjoyed: What are three traits of this class that made it memorable?
  3. 3. “a positive place” “recognized me as a person” “gave me sense of belonging” “challenged and encouraged me” “made me laugh” “made me feel as if people cared” “was a safe space to take risks” The best classrooms seem to stand out for reasons beyond cognitive skill development– building empathy makes a difference.
  4. 4. “We write who we are.” We all have stories to tell…
  5. 5. Empathy is the (missing?) link Em (in) Pathy (feeling) “Empathy enables us to reach out and connect with others in our human condition, and it is a crucial need for our species, having an intrinsic evolutionary and neurological basis for development.” (www.empathyed.org)
  6. 6. Arguments for Empathy in Education: Daniel Pink and the Conceptual Age, need to: “create artistic and emotional beauty, to detect patterns and opportunities, to craft a satisfying narrative, and to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into a novel invention…to empathize, to understand the subtleties of human interaction, to find joy in one’s self and elicit it in others” (p. 51, A Whole New Mind).
  7. 7. Howard Gardner’s Frames of Mind and Multiple Intelligences: Interpersonal intelligence is the “capacity to understand the intentions, motivations, and desires of other people.” (Gardner, 2003, p. 43) Howard Gardner, photo by Peter Gregoire, Edutopia
  8. 8. Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky’s research, “constructivism” revolution in learning theories: children are unique learners, actively constructing knowledge based on previous experiences– not passive learners, not “sponges”– they are actively engaged and driving their own learning! Statue of Piaget in Geneva, photo by Roland Zumbühl Lev Vygotsky, image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
  9. 9. Problem-based learning: “Built into this strategy itself, separate from the topic being taught, is the need for students to work together to build knowledge. This cannot be done without empathy, learning to see the problem from another’s point of view and reacting to this difference to build knowledge.” (empathyed.org) Results show: teaching empathy in classrooms can improve all aspects of performance http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashoka/2012/09/26/why-we-should-teach-empathy-to-improve- education-and-test-scores/2/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jayson-boyers/beyond-the-echo-chamber-w_b_3001066.html http://www.empathyed.org/index.php? option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=40&Itemid=62 And, shouldn’t it be intuitive?
  10. 10. Students self-reflect about writing, journals, and various styles. They have voice: Karim: http://blogs.zis.ch/13429/ Liza: http://blogs.zis.ch/3528/ Stephanie: http://blogs.zis.ch/13249/
  11. 11. What is my identity in the classroom? Who is the one who teaches? / Who is the one who writes? Will I allow my students to “see” me, as I model writing and empathy? How can empathy be encouraged & developed?
  12. 12. Author Dr. Thomas Lewis discusses "The Neuroscience of Empathy" as part of the Authors@Google series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-T2GsG0l1E “Within the brain, it is a literal truth that we regard other people as existing in other points of space, and they literally have different points of view, that we have to collect by sending our own point of view out, and imagining what the world looks like from that point of view.” Empathy allows us to creatively imagine; to understand how other people see the world.
  13. 13. “Good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher.” “Relational trust is built on movements of the human heart such as empathy, commitment, compassion, patience, and the capacity to forgive.” - Parker Palmer, The Courage to Teach
  14. 14. ETYMOLOGY of NAME quickwrite: Who we are informs how we write. Passions, hopes, joys, fears… names Write for 2 minutes about your own first name– its origin; meanings; how you feel about it, if you could change it... “We write our selves on every page.”
  15. 15. Sharing is optional… yet, encouraged! from Writing for Your Life by Deena Metzger
  16. 16. Sharing is optional… yet, encouraged! When we share in an empathy exercise, goal is to listen; to understand; to connect. Names are community-building; how we recognize and greet one another in a classroom. Names reflect cultures, histories, origins & ancestry. Identity.
  17. 17. First Steps in Writing & Sharing • When giving in-class empathetic “quickwrites”, consider using a short reading that students can respond to in writing (poem/ quote/ news/ scenario). • Write alongside students; they will see you writing and take cues from you. • Make sharing optional, without too much critique in beginning– just sharing, appreciating, postulating, moving on (and, you can share!).
  18. 18. Eliminate fear= +community = +sharing! You set the tone as a writing mentor, but students are the true leaders in the classroom WRITING = RISK-TAKING: we want everyone to clamor to debate, engage, and tell his/her story!
  19. 19. In some classrooms, there is no “front”, because everyone has a chance to face each other. Take a moment to share with those around you: 1)What does your physical classroom space look like? 2)What do you wish it looked like, and why? 3)How could this affect in-class empathetic sharing?
  20. 20. • Building empathy takes time, care and patience… teaching listening and responding • Who are we when we teach/write/learn? How many roles can we play? • Who is our audience when we teach, and when we write? • Give credit to the difficult task of writing!  "Easy-to-read is hard to write."      - Pam Zollman
  21. 21. Writing is not a lonely activity; the process thrives on interaction and understanding of others (empathy).
  22. 22. Empathy and Mindfulness: As we seek to understand others, pausing to be mindful of ourselves and the surrounding world is fundamental.
  23. 23. Empathy and Mindfulness “Recent findings… confirm that even relatively brief training in meditative techniques can alter neural functioning in brain areas associated with empathic understanding of others’ distress.” (David DeSteno, “The Morality of Meditation”, NYTimes, July 7, 2013) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/opinion/sunday/the-morality-of-meditation.html?smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0 “Compassion Training Alters Altruism and Neural Responses to Suffering”: http://brainimaging.waisman.wisc.edu/publications/2013/WengCompassionPsychSci.pdf
  24. 24. Pause for Mindfulness: Are you aware of yourself, and your 5 senses? How can you describe the space around you? “Music is the space between the notes.” -Debussy Keats’ Negative Capability
  25. 25. Play music as background for students, for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYIfiQlfaas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmKkaCKWreM Mindfulness in Education Invites the Writing Voice to Speak; Links to Empathy Write whatever comes to your mind– a story, reaction, or other, when you hear the above. Just let it happen… Write without edits.
  26. 26. Empathy-Building Exercises: Spoken Word Poetry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0snNB1yS3IE&feature= Sarah Kay shares how spoken word poetry changed her writing experience… Students can create poems and share in traveling around school, or host a poetry festival… anything is possible. Memorizing and Delivering a Poem Works Wonders! April can be POETRY MONTH in school, with “Poem in your Pocket”
  27. 27. Classrooms Invite Sharing Writing Has a Voice
  28. 28. Reaction & Debate: Two Sides
  29. 29. Empathetic Quickwrite: 3 nouns, 2 verbs news story Show that action and news hinge on certain parts of speech; good summarizing tool. Stories travel around the room; students find links and connections to be the next speaker. Write from one viewpoint of the story; then, from another
  30. 30. Connect with Students on TitanPad; let them respond to readings, self-assess, and respond to each other in live time: http://titanpad.com/
  31. 31. StudentWriting about Zeitgeist http://www.google.com/zeitgeist/2012/#the-world “The Spirit of theTimes”: Global Connections prompt: Students write about an event/element that reflects the spirit of current societal times Zeitgeist Response – Eighth Grade Technology has a big influence on us these days. Some say that it only breaks us apart and makes us farther from each other. Technology also brings us together, allowing us to communicate to all of the world (or most of it) without even leaving the comfort of our home. It allows us to inter-mingle cultures and show the world our individuality. In the old days of no technology, I bet the average person met much less people than the average person today.
  32. 32. Art Evokes Empathy: Ekphrasis Poems (Student Poetry in Response to Student Art):
  33. 33. Student Writing Sample 3, continued – notice how the following responds to the same student artwork differently:
  34. 34. Student Writing Sample – What Would You Give Up? Response to poem by Marie Howe:
  35. 35. "A need to hear and tell stories is essential to human beings, second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter." –Reynolds Price There are stories and perspectives all around us
  36. 36. "If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it." - Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  37. 37. “I believe in empathy. I believe in the kind of empathy that is created through imagination and through intimate, personal relationships. I am a writer and a teacher, so much of my time is spent interpreting stories and connecting to other individuals. It is the urge to know more about ourselves and others that creates empathy. Through imagination… we transcend our limitations, freshen our eyes, and are able to look at ourselves and the world through a new and alternative lens.” - Azar Nafizi
  38. 38. Empathy is at the heart of a writing classroom, allowing each member to value one another; to share and learn with authenticity; to extend to the world.
  39. 39. Additional Empathy-Building Writing Prompts: Beginning of School and Index cards MAD GLAD SAD SCARED “Pacman” Main Character Forced Fusion 5 Card Flickr: http://5card.cogdogblog.com/show.php?suit=5card Ethos Pathos Logos
  40. 40. Additional Materials and Writing Prompts: Short Stories: VCPDMS Hyperbole/Understatement Rants and Raves Music Thesis Statement Epigraphs Ekphrasis Alien Writing Nature Journaling
  41. 41. Additional Materials andWriting Prompts: Solstice, Equinox andVivaldi’s Four Seasons Poetry Out Loud Universal School Readings Create a RubricThrough Class Discussions Commenting on Poetry:  Sound, Structure, Symbolism, Significance!
  42. 42. Empathy –Related Sources & Websites: Forbes Article “Why We Should Teach Empathy to Improve Education and Test Scores”: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashoka/2012/09/26/why-we-should-teach-empathy-to-improve-education-and-test- scores/2/ Dr. Thomas Lewis, "The Neuroscience of Empathy" as part of the Authors@Google series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-T2GsG0l1E Daniel Pink, A Whole New Mind http://www.danpink.com/books/whole-new-mind Howard Gardner, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences http://howardgardner.com/papers/ “Beyond the Echo Chamber”: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jayson-boyers/beyond-the-echo-chamber-w_b_3001066.html How Children Develop Empathy: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/10/understanding-how-children-develop-empathy/ Empathy Ed: http://www.empathyed.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=40&Itemid=62 The Morality of Meditation: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/opinion/sunday/the-morality-of-meditation.html?smid=tw-nytimes&_r=1& Northfield Mount Hermon Library Website with Mindfulness Links: http://libguides.nmhschool.org/mindfulness
  43. 43. Useful Websites WAC introduction & Q&A, Colorado State: http://wac.colostate.edu/intro/ 42 MS writing exercises: http://www.education.com/activity/middle-school/writing/ NWP National Writing Project: http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource_topic/writing_across_the_curriculum MS Writing Resource “Write in the Middle” http://www.learner.org/workshops/middlewriting/ PURDUE Overview & Resource (High School Level, yet can be modified for MS): http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/677/1/ Intro to Rhetoric (Ethos, Pathos, Logos tools, great for writing & persuasion): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIESu4yXco4 Shelley Stagg Petersen on Staccato & discovery writing: http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/EJ779054.pdf Six Traits of Writing Video by Adora: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyZRDL8nm-A HIGH SCHOOL WAC manual: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/curriculum/languagearts/secondary/writing/writinghandbook.pdf Writing Advice: http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/writing-advice-from-famous-authors?fb_ref=recbar Sarah Kay TED Spoken Word Poetry: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0snNB1yS3IE&feature=
  44. 44. Caitlin Krause caitlin.krause@gmail.com www.caitlinkrause.tumblr.com/ @CKwriter www.flickr.com/caitlinkrause "All of our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." -Khalil Gibran

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