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ERIC Number: EJ1368532
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2023-Feb
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
EISSN: EISSN-1476-8062
Developing Empathy through Design Thinking in Elementary Art Education
Montero, Jane
International Journal of Art & Design Education, v42 n1 p155-171 Feb 2023
Past research has suggested incorporating design thinking in upper elementary art education helps students develop what are known as the Four Cs: collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. As an instructional strategy, design thinking focuses on empathy first and provides a structure for students to work through real-world, complex problems in small groups. This exploratory qualitative case study examined the effects of teaching empathy through design thinking in upper elementary art education. Eight teachers participated, representing public, private, charter, and independent school settings. Data included student observations, interviews, and journal reflections. An analysis of findings resulted in three conclusions: (1) design thinking can foster the development of empathy in preadolescents; (2) art education curricula at the upper elementary level can include design thinking; and (3) design thinking is a valid strategy for teaching empathy. Including empathy within art education promotes a classroom culture that is respectful and understanding of others, with students becoming advocates of justice, equity, and inclusion. As society continues to struggle with bullying, physical violence, and social unrest, teaching empathy has the potential to change how students relate to each other in the classroom, and, ultimately, in the world at large.
Wiley. Available from: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030. Tel: 800-835-6770; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A