The Scientific American article , “The Secret to Raising Smart Kids,” suggests that “focusing on ‘process,’ rather than intelligence or talent, produces high achievers in school and in life.”The process of personal effort to build empathy within learners is key to developing emotional intelligence inside and outside of the classroom.
Compassion can be learned.
In, What You Need for a Caring Classroom, Daniel Goleman and Peter Senge outline three kinds of empathy learners need for success at work and in life.
Cognitive empathy: understanding how other people see the world and how they think about it, and understanding their perspectives and mental models. This lets us put what we have to say in ways the other person will best understand.
Emotional empathy, a brain-to-brain linkage that gives us an instant inner sense of how the other person feels—sensing their emotions from moment to moment. This allows “chemistry” in our connections with people.
Empathic concern—which naturally leads to empathic action. Unlike the other two kinds of empathy, this variety is based in the ancient mammalian circuitry for caring and for parenting, and it nurtures those qualities.
When we create caring learning environments the teacher becomes the model for kindness and concern f and encourages the same attitude among the learners. A culture of empathy creates the best environment for learning, both cognitively and emotionally.