What's Next for The Empathy Project?
More. Better. Bigger.
Analysis of the data collected validated the need for an expanded study. This expansion could simply take the form of longer timelines and a larger sample size to expand the data gathered with the framework of the current study design, informed by best practices discovered in the initial phase. This approach would involve 5th-grade classes from more dramatically demographically diverse regions. For example, a predominantly African-American class from an urban school in the southern United States, a 5th grade class in Mexico where many of our students have roots but dramatically different lived experiences, etc.
Continued use of the Cultural Curiosity Rubric in expanded studies could also help to validate that rubric. A study could also look at the differences and similarities between Cultural Curiosity and Empathy gained when simply interacting with diverse peers in unstructured sessions vs. utilizing activities designed to enhance connection and interaction. Other potential next steps could include a greater focus on determining the impact of specific types of activities. In this case, the researcher would focus multiple sessions on a single approach (i.e., Community Building, Social-Emotional Learning, Challenge-Based Learning).
The overall results of this study are promising. Further studies may help to show how modern technology allows for a practical and feasible way to increase student exposure to diverse populations, thus increasing cultural curiosity, empathy, and skills needed for success in the global marketplace.
Special Thanks to...
A huge thank you needs to go out to the Napa Valley Education Foundation. Their commitment to continuing education and the honing of our teaching skills for our students and our community has been invaluable in this process. Without your support this program would likely be out of reach for countless dedicated educators.
Thank you as well to the Touro University System and specifically the Graduate School of Education at Touro University California for your commitment to helping ensure quality education and educators in your community and throughout the region. Thank you to all the staff and instructors committed to our success.