02 февраля 2018 Опубликована статья ученицы Живой школы Марии Соколай «Empathy development in our school comunity»

Мария Соколай

Далеко не все пока знают, что такое эмпатия и в чем ее значимость. Эту статью я задумала для того, чтобы поделиться своим опытом участия в очень интересном проекте по развитию эмпатии в нашем школьном сообществе. Мне хотелось рассказать о том, почему я считаю эмпатию важным ресурсом в выстраивании взаимоотношений с другими людьми.


Нас вдохновила идея Музея эмпатии в Лондоне. До этого проекта я даже такого слова не слышала, а если и слышала, то не придавала этому значения. Но когда мы начали делать проект и я узнала, что же это такое, я сразу же поняла, что эта тема мне близка и интересна. Я вдруг поняла, что для меня это одна из самых важных составляющих в коммуникации с людьми, и я считаю, что очень важно понимать эмоциональное состояние человека при взаимодействии с ним – ведь так дела пойдут намного легче и быстрее, и так значительно меньше шансов сделать ему больно или еще как-то навредить. Эмпатия позволяет избегать недопонимания и конфликтов.


Спасибо большое всем участникам нашей проектной группы: Насте и Лиде из 11 класса, Яну и Саше из 6-го, Алисе из 4-го и Екатерине Марковне! Это был очень ценный опыт.


А потом нам предложили сделать проектную работу по английскому (во-первых, на языке, а во-вторых – тематически связанную с Англией), и я решила описать наш проект по эмпатии – вот так у меня получилась эта статья.  

Мария Соколай, ученица «Живой Школы»


Empathy development in our school community

Not everyone fully understands the importance of empathy. Most of the people don't understand it at all. Often it happens because they do not know what empathy is, or do not understand its meaning. This project was designed to share my experience in a successful attempt to develop empathy in our school community and to share my point of view why I believe that empathy is important to al of usl as a tool in dealing with other people. My article is written mostly for teenagers and people of my age, because I believe that now is the right period to really think about something important and start to change something. In my opinion, the important thing is empathy.

I will start from the definition of Empathy. Empathy is about understanding other’s emotional condition. Feature of empathy lies in the fact that this property applies to a wide range of emotions - whether they are positive or negative. For example: if compassion is precisely the ability to show pity, the empathy is more diverse. Nowadays one of the most important skills is are empathy and social intelligence. Social intelligence, as a quality, will have even greater value than intelligence quotient. Well-developed communication skills can be considered as a guarantee that the person will be able not only to create the most appropriate environment, but also to influence the people around them. Through skillful separation of the various manifestations of other people, such as, for example, the tone, mood or emotion, can be reused to increase the productivity of their communication.  And to be able to influence people it is important to understand their emotional condition.

In London, there is the world’s first empathy museum (http://www.empathymuseum.com/ ). Now it’s working with three projects, each focused on the development of empathy.

First named “A mile in my shoes” devoted for people who with a story, which they want to tell the world. “We are looking for people with a story to tell”- so they say. Museum is collecting those people stories together with a pair of their shoes, so people can walk in shoes while listening their stories. A Mile in My Shoes is a shoe shop where visitors are invited to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes - literally. Housed in a giant shoebox, this exhibit holds a diverse collection of shoes and audio stories that explore our shared humanity. Second one, called “A thousand and one book”. A Thousand and One Books is a new crowd-sourced library that will be filled with a 1001 book, each one donated by someone who loves that book and thinks that other people might love it too. Each book in the library is available to the public to take out and pass on. 

Third, “Human library”. A Human Library is like any other library but instead of borrowing a book you can borrow a person for conversation – A Living Book.
So, thinking of developing empathy in our school community there gather a group of six students 10-17 years old and a teacher, who were interested in working with empathy, think why it is important in our school and how we can cultivate it. When we found out that there is the empathy museum in London and about their projects, we started to think of what we could do to make students in our school understand each other better.

Inspired by their project “A mile in my shoes” we decided to do something like that. To think how we can feel other people’s emotional condition, how we can develop empathy in our school. We had got many ideas. Like to understand something through what person eats, what person wears, what person likes to do, person’s hobbies, through person’s favorite movies, favorite music, through person’s idols. I mean, to use everything what I see about person, use it and make it help us understand that person’s emotional condition. From these really good ideas, we decided to choose three, the most interesting for us. Feel another person through his favorite music, his idols and third, the most interesting idea, that we’ve thought of. We called it “To be Artem Patrik”. It’s a name of the boy from our school, who is very tall, and our idea was to learn people’s features in our school. “What it is like to be you?” - that was the question we asked every student. After we got these ideas we decided to present them in a series of events.  

First event: we called it “Your day in my headphones”. We asked students from 6st, 8th and 11th grades, to tell us their favorite song, which relates to important event in their lives. After we got all information about songs, we print out student’s photo-portraits, brought to school many ipods with their songs and many headphones, so everybody could listen the song. The event was held in the big hall of our school. On windows we posted person’s portraits, next to them were little stories about what event this story is connected to. On window sills there were many ipods with headphones. Every student came to the window, they listened to song and read the text. I do believe that everybody liked that. May be some of them really found out something new about their classmates or about other students in school.

Second event was called “Jocker in my sleeve” and was devoted for student’s and teacher’s Idols in our school. This time we asked students to tell us about their idols, about people who inspire them. After that every teacher and student who participated had to present this information in three formats. First, the format of a collage or a poster with the little text. The second format was a video or slideshow. And third format was a little installation, you could bring everything related or associated with your idol. Тo all this, you could add quotes of the idols, the explanation of what exactly is in them is inspiring, the story of how and when you began to be inspired by them. It looked like the first event. No one choose the video format, so everybody made collages which we posted on windows. Besides that, the collages and posters were not signed, so everyone had to guess whose idol was on that poster or collage.

And third, final event, named “To be Artem Patrik”. The event was attended by the whole school, and as I already told you, it was about our school students features. We had a plan to interview each student in our school, about their features and make a text on results of these interviews. Initially we decided that the format of this event will be the same as two before it, that we will just post all texts and portraits on windows. But this event was going to happened in the same day as our’s school birthday, so we had to do something else, besides the portraits and texts. So we decided to do a little performance in two sessions. That performance looked next way: dark classroom, in it students and teachers and our group with exerts from all texts we had got and with flashlights. Someone started to read one exert and when he finished, he tried to find a person about who was this exert with help of flashlight. It was in two sessions because this dark classroom isn’t very big, so all students wouldn’t fit in it on one session. We didn’t interview all students in school, because we didn’t have a lot of time, so some students were interviewed after that performance. Unfortunately I couldn't attend on this event. But when I started to collect materials for the article on this event, I learned a lot of amazing things. Well, first of all everybody loved it! The results of it was amazing!! Here are the comments of participants and observers from outside:

— Thank you very much! It was very interesting to learn something about my classmates and other students. Everyone is different, and it turned out that all of them are around me.

— Students from 5th grade

— it's very courageous for me that you can open to everyone like this. to speak so openly about yourself. it's very exciting. Many texts touched me as an adult, I was ashamed of the children for how much I as an adult bring them to suffer and a lot of negativity. But thank you very much! Sometimes you need to feel it.           

— Yana the Teacher

it was amazing that when I read my text, I looked at it from a completely different angle, as if it wasn't mine. and from what I've learned about my classmates, just a shock!! Thank you so much!!

— Student Nastya from 6th grade

On the one hand it was very interesting to see what students understand about themselves. On the other hand, as a teacher it was useful to understand the difficulties of the child and these texts helped me to understand where they came from and how to solve them. Very pleased that the children here opened, but now I'm afraid that someone else could use it for bad purposes, but while I haven’t seen nothing of the sort..

— Evgenia the Teacher 

So, as you see it was a great idea to hold such an event. I am very happy it all worked out!!

And finally, I want to say that I had an excellent case to try to understand others and use them a little bit to understand myself. Try to look closely and listen to the people around you, help them to solve their problems and do not be afraid to share with them your problems, believe me they will hear you and help to solve them. and if you try to understand each other, it will not only change your personal life, but will begin to expand throughout your environment and eventually begin to solve more global problems.

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