In Our Connected World, What If Empathy Is Learning?

Thom Markham, Mind/Shift, Jan 02, 2018
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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I'll file this one under 'pedagogy of harmony' though the fit is a bit uneasy. Thom Markham taskes as a point of departure the end of the transmission model of learning asks "what now?" He observes that in today's world, more than ever, people learn together, an d "living a densely linked life and operating in a non-linear, intimately connected, globally diverse, culturally conflicted world... requires entirely new thinking about learning itself." To learn, on this new model, he suggests, may be to develop empathy, where empathy is characterized not merely asd a cognitive state but also a physiological state. Markham adds that "in the transmission model, learning is very much geared toward self-fulfillment; in the new model, we can expect empathy to shift the focus to the common good."

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