Building Empathy Through Diverse Children’s Literature
Change is the ever constant. The field of education is evolving rapidly to accommodate the learning needs of this generation of students. Increasing knowledge and research on learning styles, the influx of technology in education, the immediate access to information and happenings around the world, the heightened awareness of ability, racial, cultural, gender, and socioeconomic structures in the classroom impact the social-emotional functions of a student.
Social-emotional functioning impacts learning, which in turn impacts the delivery of instruction, which should give us teachers cause to frequently reevaluate how and what we teach.
It is, however, our collective responsibility as 21st-century teachers of young children not only to provide them with content knowledge and strategies for learning, analyzing, and synthesizing that knowledge, but also the skills to become cognitively healthy and responsible adults. These skills include developing self-awareness, treating themselves and each other with respect, taking responsibility, communicating effectively, and collaborating in an increasingly connected world.
This session illustrates how to consciously weave these skills into the music curriculum.
The empathy-building activities in the session are inspired by multicultural music and diverse children’s books. They address the growing need for building empathy in young children so that they can negotiate the world in a healthy and responsible manner.
Children’s literature may be used to build awareness and acceptance of self and others while working toward a common musical objective. Through movement, singing, playing instruments, body percussion, active listening, and composing activities students can learn to work cooperatively, think critically, and refer to collaboration rubrics while developing creative solutions to issues of bullying, gender identity, refugee and immigrant situations, poverty, racial and ethnic similarities and differences, and being labeled and stereotyped.
Through diverse children’s literature, movement, and multicultural song, dance, speech, and instrumental pieces that are taught with as close a simulation to authenticity as possible students may be led to discover, explore, and create while acquiring a respectful acceptance of the similarities and differences that exist among themselves, their community, and the larger world.
CDE Clock Hours* are available at all workshops for no extra cost!
Graduate Credit* is available through Adams State University for participating in all four online workshops.
*See the Clock Hours & Credit FAQ page for more information.
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