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David Newton-Dines

Managing Director, DJ Squared Limited

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Rate educators based on their empathy alone.

The only real measure of effectiveness regarding an educator is that they treat each child (from pre-school to university) individually.

If they do that, then that child will receive the very best education possible. Currently, too many educators take a formulaic approach and effectively blame the child if they don't understand.

By scoring educators based on their empathy, it removes the nonsense of cheating at annual tests simply to stay employed. Yes many would go, however, that might then mean that the lost vocational element of education might reemerge.

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    R H 20+

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    May 6 2013: I'm sorry David, I just can't get over this one. Please take the word 'alone' out of the title, then we can respond to the 'idea' of rating teachers on their empathy as A COMPONENT of their professionalism and effectiveness, rather than 'alone'. The way it reads now, we would be rating physicians on their 'empathy alone' rather than how well they wield a scalpel or apply their training on anatomy, which is laughable if it wasn't so sad.
    • May 6 2013: Well RH, the good news is that you are not being asked to get over it.

      The point of the the premise is that as empathy is at the centre of Emotional Intelligence, when the performance of educators is measured using its elements only, the results would be paradigm shift that education needs.

      Out of curiosity, please explain to me how a physician's performance cannot be measured based on how the patient is left feeling? To be empathetic the application of training must be done in a manner that demonstrably supports the needs of the patient. Why is that laughable exactly?
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        R H 20+

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        May 7 2013: Your assuming, that in being 'empathetic', technical competency is a 'given' in evaluation. Somehow, we have eliminated, in this idea, that fundamental competency in the field, technical competency, current technique competency, as part of the evaluation process. A doctor can give medicine to alleviate pain, be 'nice and kind and emotionally intelligent', make the patient 'feel better', then send them home and they die because they didn't cure the disease. Under your system, he/she would be rated satisfactorily. This makes no sense to me. I have no problem with 'empathy' being a minor component of evaluation, but a component only, not the sole scale of competency. Surely you must see that?
        • May 7 2013: I do not recall anyone saying that being nice and kind equates to empathy.

          The part you seem to miss is the understanding part of empathy. To fully understand there are both practical and emotional elements. If you properly understand, using your scenario, you would administer appropriately so no dead patient.

          Does that help?
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        May 7 2013: Ah, there we go. I am not familiar with any definition of empathy including technical, or practical, skill elements. But since you have defined it so in this instance, we are much closer to agreement. Thnx.
        • May 7 2013: At the core of empathy is understanding and, as everything we do at a conscious level has two drivers - the emotional driver and the practical, understanding means understanding those two elements. Better?
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        May 8 2013: At the risk of appearing uncooperative and dogmatic, and for clarity purposes only, I must offer that I believe you are combining two distinct attributes into one definition - which I have accepted for this discussion, but not as a matter of general understanding. The whole premise of this discussion rests on the definition of "... empathy alone", and I cannot find a definition of empathy that includes 'practical skill' as a component of its definition. Now, you suppose that we must 'understand' , which lies 'at the core' of empathy, that 'everything we do consciously has two drivers'. You then reason that 'empathy' is something we're 'doing', and therefore contains an understanding of a practical element which is sufficient to evaluate teachers with empathy alone. But the 'doing' of empathy is in the practical application of empathy, not 'all-encompassing' of the competency of the subject empathy is applied to. Empathy means what it means, and whatever practical driver empathy contains is driving empathy, not the practical skill level and technical competency of the subject its referring, in this case teachers. Believe it or not, I'm on your side. I'm just trying to clarify this distinction as a reader and participant.
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          May 8 2013: I share your reaction, RH, but am out of thumbs ups for you for the week.

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