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ERIC Number: EJ1097371
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0007-8034
Spanning the Gulf: Empathy, Dialogue, and Harmony in Exploring Literature of Diversity
Sellers, Murray McCowen
CEA Forum, v36 n1 Win-Spr 2007
The gulf that separates us as individuals--our backgrounds, our experiences, our priorities, our essential points of view--is not always easy to span. This article discusses the author's belief that "spanning the gulf" of "diversity" in the classroom is best achieved through empathy, dialogue, and harmony. Murray McCowen Sellers describes how he intentionally "spanned the gulf" between individuals in his literature class. He began his task with fostering a class-wide recognition of each "individual" student, which led to the important development of empathy among those individuals. Early on, he introduced the students to the concept that the so-called "literature of universality," though it may (by definition) appeal to large numbers of people in a variety of locations over a great expanse of time, is still--always and forever--assimilated by unique individuals. These individuals all approach a text with "pre"-texts--knowledge, experience, and emotions--that they bring to a particular text each time they read it. Through empathy and dialogue, the class grew to understand not only each other but also the writers, characters, and time periods of the literature they read. They also learned that this understanding is the first and most important step toward harmony.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A