TED Conversations

David Newton-Dines

Managing Director, DJ Squared Limited

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

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.

+4
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • May 7 2013: In answer to your questions
    Love is not empathy. You can love someone without feeling what they are feeling or trying to. Thus I can love my students without empathising with them.
    Needing to moderate teaching methods according to students' needs is simple to see. A monkey can do it, but not necessarily show empathy. If a student is not keeping up with the majority there is a problem. The problem may be the method of teaching itself, the incorrect level placement of the student or simply that they react better to a different type of coaching or need more time than others. Not empathy.
    I didn't mention that my teachers, of whom I spoke so highly, nor my mother, who was a superb infant teacher had empathy for their students. They were strict, had high expectations of themselves and of their pupils, brooked no nonsense with tantrums etc., NOT empathising with the pupils' desire to follow their own plan, but insisting, firmly, that they do what the teacher asked.
    Of course a teacher can be loved and it's a good thing, but you can't base how good a teacher is on how much empathy they had with their students. Apart from anything else, how do you measure empathy? What parametres are you using?
    Also, in your reply to RH you ask why a physician's performance cannot be measured based on how the patient is left feeling. I'd like to know when you would take the patient's feeling about their treatment - straight out of surgery? After 2 days? A week? A year? You don't think that patient's feelings change over those periods? Which is the correct one to base your view on how good the surgeon was? As one of many parametres it could be considered, a good bedside manner is what it used to be called. But it is only part of the job, not the be all and end all. If you can't see that, I don't know how to explain it to you. The same with teachers, empathy can be one of many parametres, but NOT the ONLY one. Again, when would you ask for the student's feeling of empathy?
    • May 8 2013: Kate. Your response disappoints but does not surprise me.

      My apologies for assuming you might read the posts of others and so take from my answers to them that which applies to the post above.

      With the constraints of posting here on TED I will answer each point for YOU alone.

      Love is I agree not empathy. However love cannot exist without it.

      To moderate teaching methods requires an understanding of where there are and need to be in relation to the person in receipt of them. At the core of empathy is understanding so whether you believe it or not, you are displaying empathy.

      You incorrectly associate empathy with what you call tantrums or desire to follow their own plan. As already agreed elsewhere here, being empathetic is about understanding what the child needs not necessarily what they want. So, a kind of being cruel to be kind is empathetic.

      What and how am I measuring? That's my USP and as such I'm not about to tell the TED world all about it just yet ;-) What I can tell you though, is that it takes very little introduction and works consistently across ages, socio economic grouping and ALL of the cultures yet tested upon.

      The simple answer to that is 'all of the above'. Of course they change over time so why should the doctors performance be reviewed down the line. For me its the same as the financial sector. These guys get huge bonuses and yet 5 years later are the root cause of chaos so it is vital all aspects of their performance is scored.

      Keeping it simple here, empathy has three general elements, feeling, understanding & doing. Everything you describe fits into one of those categories.

      If I may, what you and everyone else here has done, and its my fault, is assume that 'empathy' is effectively represented by a single question. That is NOT the case as I've now hopefully demonstrated.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.