ERIC Number: EJ1032593
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Reference Count: 8
Hearing Children's Voices: True Empathy in Child Psychology
Lima, Olivia K.
Reclaiming Children and Youth, v22 n3 p48-49 Fall 2013
Olivia Lima writes in this article that because she is not trained as a therapist or counselor, but rather as a researcher in cognitive development, she cannot speak to the clinical role of empathy. However she does consider empathy central to her work teaching Child Psychology. Keeping that in mind, she begins her first class by telling the stories of two abused and neglected children because she wants her students to learn how to feel, then stop and think. She continually reminds her students that wanting to help is not enough. If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, it is also littered with failed attempts to help that further damaged the most vulnerable children. She warns her students that for the effective helper, morally grounded empathy requires not only an emotional response, but also knowledge from research evidence on the possibilities and limits of their efforts. For children who have no voice, Lima's students strive to learn "morally contoured empathy" so that they may speak for them. She teaches them that when they do step in, they must do so with humility and informed by the best available knowledge, always embracing the utmost respect for every child.
Descriptors: Child Psychology, Empathy, Moral Development, Teaching Methods, Educational Practices, Helping Relationship, Childhood Attitudes, Ethical Instruction
Reclaiming Children and Youth. PO Box 57 104 N Main Street, Lennox, SD 57039. Tel: 605-647-2532; Fax: 605-647-5212; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://reclaimingjournal.com/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A