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Why Empathy Is Core

What is Empathy?

Empathy is imagining what another’s life

is like.

It is seeking to understand what another sees, thinks, and feels.

When I empathize, I act with kindness

and compassion. 

In the CoreEmpathy classroom ...  

  • Reading becomes more fluent and meaningful.

  • Discourse comes alive.

  • Writing becomes more vibrant and engaging.

  • A writer’s voice shines.

  • Reading and writing intertwine.

Empathy changes everything . . .

Your heart, your students, their academic success,

your classroom community.

 Empathy is the gateway into understanding.  When we step into another person’s shoes, we not only understand them better, we see our connection. 

Empathy is the gateway into story.  As we empathize with the story’s characters, we understand their motivations, we share their experiences, we grow to care about what happens to them, we keep turning the page.

Reading with an empathy lens draws us closer to the text.  It unlocks its meaning. It also draws us closer to an author’s purpose and inspires us to explore the author’s craft for strategies that engage reader empathy. 

Reading with empathy informs student writing.  Empathy forms a natural bridge between reading and writing. Using the empathy-rich story they just read, students apply the same empathy-infused writing strategies the author used to engage their audience.

“The ability to understand what other people are thinking and feeling is key to our species' survival.

...[Empathy is] the glue that holds

communities together.

    --from the book, Assessing   

      Empathy, Arizona State 


Empathy reduces prejudice and racism.

Perspective taking (seeing things from someone else's point of view) combats automatic expressions of racial bias.

   --from The Journal of Personality   

      and Social Psychology

A 2011 study in the publication Child Development involving 270,000 students showed

that students who parti-cipated in SEL programs showed ...

an 11% increase in standardized achievement test scores.

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