"All humans are members of the same body Created from one essence"

"Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain."

Monday, 5 March 2012

EMPATHY To Understand is to forgive

Empathy: the ability to get inside another person's feelings and worldview

Empathy is a form of insight because it involves the ability to get beyond weird opinions or people to find what is meaningful in them.

Thomas Kuhn said that intellectual empathy is essential if "we are to make sense of ideas that we too quickly reject because of our own assumptions."

Students have to learn how to open-mindedly embrace ideas, experiences, and stories that might seem strange! They need to see how habit can block our understanding of another person's understanding!

Empathy, the ability to walk in another's shoes, to leave one's own responses so as to grasp another's, try to understand another student, people, culture......empathy

To detach ourselves...to see more objectively....Empathy is the act to trying to find what is sensible, meaningful in the actions of others....even if these ideas are puzzling...odd...or alien...

Empathy requires respect for people different from ourselves! to be open-minded, respect their point of view, develop historical empathy for people living at different places and times.


John Passmore said, "There are many different ways of understanding, overlapping but not reducible to one another and, correspondingly, many different ways of teaching to understand." (The philosophy of Teaching. 1982, p. 210)

 You only understand a topic if you can teach it, use it, prove it, connect it, explain it defend it and read between the lines!

Piaget wryly noted years ago that egocentric persons have only one point of view, theirs! 

Unfortunately, most often we can hear this sentence which says, "You just don't understand." 

When we truly understand, 
  • we can explain
  • we can interpret
  • we can apply
  • we have perspective (can see and hear points of view through critical eyes and ears!)
  • we can see the big picture
  • we can empathize
  • have self-knowledge
We must be able to perceive prejudices, projections, and habits of mind that both shape and impede our own understanding!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

To understand something is to see it in its relations to other things!

Indeed, to understand something is to see it in its relations to other things! How does it operates? How does it function? What consequences follow from it? What causes it?

We need to go beyond the information given to make inferences, connections, and associations!

A middle school student who can explain why steam, water, and ice, though superficially different, are the same chemical substance has a better understanding of H2O than someone who cannot!

Students should be able to transfer their abstract knowledge into giving good accounts that provide a useful framework, logic, and telling evidence to support claims!

Understanding is thus not mere knowledge of facts but inference about why and how, with specific evidence and logic, insightful connections.