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ERIC Number: EJ906999
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-1099-839X
Confronting the Other: Understanding Empathy
Garrett, Jim; Greenwalt, Kyle
Current Issues in Education, v13 n4 2010
The concept of empathy is strongly at play across the field of education. In analyzing literature from which this concept both emerges and presently appears, this review elaborates on what empathy affords the educational enterprise. Drawing from theorists from diverse fields of inquiry, among them education research, phenomenology, and psychoanalysis, we focus on the limits of empathy while questioning what lies beyond. We find that deployments of empathy might actually create more distance between self and other rather than bring about more understanding across difference. Further, in looking at the literature on empathy there is an insufficient attention to broader social considerations that impact understandings of the other. In light of what we find to be problematic about the idea and uses of empathy in education, the paper concludes with speculations about how practicing educators might adequately address the inherent problems within learning across difference. (Contains 7 endnotes.)
Arizona State University, Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education. Deans Office, P.O. Box 870211 Payne 108, Tempe, AZ 85287. Tel: 480-965-3306; Fax: 480-965-6231; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A