Week 12: Empathy in Action

In order to avoid falling into the trap of promoting action-less empathy with our students, I suggest that we consider ways that we can make commitments to progress in three interrelated areas of our lives: The personal, the professional and the civic. – Nicole Mirra, Educating for Empathy

Happy Monday everyone!

I tweeted our our presentation; whoo hoo! Where else should we share? Feel free to pass it around (Note that I made a public version of it in case we still wanted to use the original between us).


I believe connected learning principles can provide a vocabulary for teachers to reclaim agency over what and how we best meet the individual needs of students in our classrooms. … — Antero Garcia (2014)

With your own learning as the first focus, take this week to reflect back on what you have been working on this semester. Reread your blog. Visit the blogs of your classmates. Look at the things that you made — from blog posts, maps, to annotations. With the learning of your colleagues as part of our shared purpose too, take this week to spend some time with our shared Presentation and connected teaching flipgrid. What are the small moves you made along the way? What about your classmates? What are some of the big ways they supported you in being a connected learner this semester? What have the implications been for you as a teacher?

… With learners as the focus, teachers can rely on connected learning as a way to pull back the curtain on how learning happens in schools and agitate the possibilities of classrooms today. — Antero Garcia (2014)

And now, with learners as your focus, turn your attention to the implications for them on what we’ve been doing together this semester; what is important about it and why? Ask them to be part of this reflection if you can. If you don’t currently have learners you are working with, what do you see as the implications for your learners-of-the-future?

After all this, start to think about your final “Make” for the semester. Final “makes” should be something that you design that supports you in building towards equity and connected learning beyond this course.

Blog this week about the make you are thinking about and list a few dilemmas that come up as you think about how to best design for connected learning and equity in your context. And then, as you read the blogs of others in your class, think about a question you might want some feedback on from your classmates (we will have a chance to dive more into these question next week).

Kind of getting tired of blogging? Another way to share ideas is by making a Zine! It’s super easy and gives you 8 panels on which to share your plans. See how to make a Zine here: https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Zine … and use it to do the same thing – ie. start to described the make you are thinking about and list a few dilemmas that come up as you think about how to best design for connected learning and equity in your context.


Read the concluding chapter of Educating for Empathy (pages 102-110) which brings a focus on putting empathy into action on the personal, professional and civic levels. Let’s continue to think think together about how we can build our own supports and networks for this work.

Then join these colleagues from three (actually four, if you include the NWP) teacher leadership development organizations in order to explore key questions about teacher leadership: What is it? How is it fostered? And what good does it do in the world?

Beyond the potential partners you named this past week, Nicole also recommends finding others who are doing this work in national and community-based professional organizations and via networks on social media. Maybe of you are already thinking in this direction! Let’s continue this line of thought with two Philadelphia educators who have also been working on this, including Arcadia’s Kira Baker-Doyle. Kira’s recent work on transformative teachers traces many of the connections teachers are making both locally and digitally (Start around 9:00 to skip the way-too-long intro. Oy.).

And a late addition here, but if you are interested I invite you to participate in this month’s Marginal Syllabus reading Cultivating Urban Literacies on Chicago’s South Side through a Pedagogy of Spatial Justice.  Also this was a great related conversation with middle school teacher (now professor) Kara Taylor and her co-authors.


Find ways to make some of the connections you thought about this past week; no need to blog about them. Just use the time you’d usually use searching to start to make some of those small moves and connections. If you wish to share feel free; either way though, keep notes for yourself as you can use these when building your final project.


We won’t gather this week, but we will get together next Tuesday, April 16 at 7pm. Also, don’t miss last week’s hangout where we talked a bit about our final Make projects and looked at projects by former ED677ers.

In connected solidarity,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *