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Dean r berry the role of empathy in problem solving

  1. The Role of Empathy in Problem Solving: Walk a Mile in My Shoes By Dean Berry, Ed. D.
  2. •Free PowerPoint at • •Type PPT title or dean r berry
  3. Problem Solving Prerequisites • Solving problems requires our attention and effort. If we have a stake in finding a solution, we are generally more interested in spending the time, energy, and resources to get the job done. • What happens when people feel like the problem belongs to someone else but has little or no impact on them personally? For example, the family that has plenty of money and eats great dinners every night is asked to help solve the problem of hunger in America. How does this make the problem of hunger more difficult to solve?
  4. Meet in Small Groups • Identify some conditions in our world or country that need to be improved? • Select and discuss three of these issues. • Write a clear problem statement for one of the issues that you have identified. • Share you problem statement with the class.
  5. Does anybody really care about solving the problem you identified? • How do we get other people to care about solving important problems that do not affect them directly? • Can people learn to care more about their neighbors? • What might be done to get people to become more aware of how people in a community are interconnected? • How is our world interconnected?
  6. Is it possible to know how another person feels? How can you find out how another person feels?
  7. Empathy is the term that can be used to explain an individual’s ability to know how someone else feels.
  8. We can offer comparisons or analogies to improve empathy. Would a bully listen to the message in this cartoon? Why? Why not?
  9. How much we really care about others can be measured on a continuum from no empathy to complete empathy for others. Different people experience empathy to different degrees and levels.
  10. Some people care a lot about improving our public schools. If they are served by a school that is old and dilapidated and has to use substitute teachers frequently because the school is unable to attract qualified teachers, they are likely to be very adamant about wanting the problem of poor schools to be solved.
  11. Many people who understand how students and parents feel about wanting better schools are also supportive of efforts to solve the problem of improving our public schools. They are supportive because they have the ability to “walk a mile in their shoes”. But other people do not always have this ability to care about other people’s issues.
  12. Where does the ability to empathize with other people’s problems come from? Meet in small groups and discuss the following questions. • 1. Why do you think that the ability to care about somebody else’s problems develops in some personalities but not others? • 2. Does the social and psychological environment that individuals grow up in have an impact on the development of empathy? Explain
  13. Social scientists know that when people seem not to care very much about a problem that plagues others far more than it affects them, they tend to ignore serious efforts to solve the problem.
  14. American schools are ranked far lower that many schools in countries through out the world even though we are one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Raise your hand if you believe that we could have better schools. Why do you think it is possible for America to have better schools? If it is possible, what keeps us from solving the problem?
  15. Perceptions and Priorities People are not very good problem solvers when they do not view themselves as stakeholders. They are even less interested in solving a problem when they are unable to perceive and feel the frustration of those who will benefit the most from solving the problem.
  16. Having empathy for other people’s issues enables us to be far better problem solvers. If too few people care enough about a problem that affects the community, the problem will not be solved. However, many people will complain about the problem year after year, and yet, the problem will remain unfixed.
  17. Meet in Small Groups and Discuss What could be done to get our country, our state, and our community to care enough about our schools to make significant improvements to the quality of education for all students? List and discuss three important steps that might motivate people to take action on this problem.
  18. Report Back to the Class •Share your groups ideas about this issue. •Which ideas might result in the best solutions? Why? •Take Notes and Prepare to Write
  19. Quick Write Write a paragraph with a minimum of five sentences discussing the best ways to get people to support major improvements in our schools across the state. Identify a strategy that could be used to motivate citizens to support our schools.
  20. In order to become effective problem solvers, it is important to understand the complexity of the problem and the consequences of the solutions. For example, many people who are not directly affected by the prospect of improving public schools tend to view the problem in simplistic fashion. They realize that students might benefit from some changes or modifications in public education. However, they often fail to understand how solving educational problems also improves our economy and raises our standard of living which provides direct benefits to all Americans.
  21. In a society where some people lack the empathy to want to help fix someone else’s problem, it becomes necessary to educate them about how the solutions to the problem will provide positive consequences for everyone’s benefit. Effective problem solving requires teaching others how to see all of the potential consequences, good and bad, of solving community problems together.
  22. Problem solving requires some people to step up and provide leadership by taking a proactive approach to getting apathetic members of the community to see how they will benefit from finding solutions to the problem. Since some people lack the empathy to identify with other people’s issues, those problem solvers who are motivated must offer the leadership to demonstrate to the entire community how everyone will benefit to some degree by solving a community problem.
  23. What does this phrase mean to you?
  24. Prepare to practice listening skills. • The next slide will ask you to meet in groups and address a question. • As you participate, remember to ask clarifying questions as ideas and examples are discussed by other group members. Questions such as, “What do you mean by that?”, “Can you explain that further”?, “Can you give us an example?” • Also, try to add to (piggyback) someone else’s idea by giving them credit for their idea and then adding to it with your suggestion.
  25. Meet in Small Groups • Discuss why you think “Walking a Mile in Someone’s Shoes” is important when dealing with certain issues and problems. • Create several examples of situations that are easier to discuss with people who have walked a mile in your shoes. • Prepare to share your ideas with the class.
  26. Do you agree that people should be judged by their present not their past? Why? Are there situations where the past must be considered to ensure public safety?
  27. Do you agree with this statement? Why? Are there situations where society needs to judge someone’s path regardless of this statement?
  28. Why is this an effective message?
  29. Why do you think this is important? Why do you think that some people still ignore this advice?
  30. Sometimes problems seem baffling. Why would a country that has great wealth allow so many children to live in poverty during their entire childhood? Why do you think that is the case?
  31. Children and the elderly are the ones that are most often going to bed at night without eating.
  32. If not enough people care about a problem, the problem doesn’t get solved. Are most people just cold and inconsiderate or do they not see the negative consequences of poverty often enough to develop a caring attitude? What do you think?
  33. Examine the graph. Has rural poverty increased or decreased since 2007? Which group had the highest rate of poverty in 2014?
  34. Serious poverty has existed in America for many years. Do you think that will ever change? How?
  35. Other issues such as improving education and decreasing unemployment contribute to the problem of poverty.
  36. Meet in small groups and discuss. •Should everyone who graduates from high school be guaranteed a job? •Should there be a guaranteed minimum wage for everyone who works?
  37. Quick Write Write a paragraph discussing why we should or should not guarantee a job to every high school graduate. Clearly express you reasons why?
  38. Class Discussion •Who do you think cares the most about fixing the unemployment problem? •Do you think that a lack of empathy makes the problem harder to solve?
  39. Is air and water pollution a serious problem for our country? Why do you think that more hasn’t been done to reduce our pollution problems?
  40. Where is the highest level of dangerous pollution found? Who is more likely to live in the smoggiest areas?
  41. What type of health problems will the residents in this area be at increased risk to develop?
  42. In which area of the city would more people be concerned about reducing air pollution?
  43. In order to be better problem solvers, it is important to develop good listening skills and to improve our ability to empathize with those who may be facing serious problems. The following questions and statements are good ways to develop empathy for other people’s concerns. • What would you like me to know about the issue you are facing? • I think I see where you are coming from. • I understand how frustrating this is for you. • What can I do to be more helpful?
  44. Let’s do a role play. We need three volunteers. One of you will pretend to be an undocumented immigrant who is worried about deportation. One of you wants undocumented immigrants sent back to their home country. The third volunteer uses the following questions to help understand how the first volunteer feels about the issue.
  45. The bottom line about problem solving is that most community or global problems require a cooperative effort in order to agree upon solutions that serve the greater good. Building empathy and demonstrating how the majority of people will benefit in the long run when schools are better or poverty is reduced will bring more stake holders to the problem solving table.