Random Learning – The Empathic Civilization

This is actually my random learning, not my kid’s.  My colleagues and I, in our monthly “assessment geek out,” accidentally stumbled across this video today. I am still processing it all, but I am interested in how we embody and enact empathy, why, and under what conditions. I try to be an empathic person, to consider and try to experience the perspectives of others. But, especially in my work with adult learners (though really in everything I do, including parenting my 4-year old, supporting my colleagues, and being with friends), I always wonder where the line is between being empathic and being too empathic (if there is such a thing). When does an empathic approach get in the way of what might be best for my students or my kid?

So – my random learning: The Empathic Civilization, by RSA Animate.

Bestselling author, political adviser and social and ethical prophet Jeremy Rifkin investigates the evolution of empathy and the profound ways that it has shaped our development and our society.

I also am left wondering:  can we really evolve as a civilization – a species – to be more empathic? Seemingly so (according to Rifkin). But ARE we doing so? Sometimes, on days when the glass is half-empty and the national and international news continually presents stories of violence, incivility, intolerance, prejudice, and environmental damage, I am not so sure we are evolving to be more empathic . . .  But it seems good to know that we can.

Random Learning – Tower Cranes – Entry #1

Our nogs are prattling around my house these days. Mac is a 4-year old learning sponge, and we are exploring several random things he is interested in. So I am starting a new series called Random Learning, in which I’ll share all the random things we are learning.

Entry #1: How do tower cranes get assembled?

Answer #1: Watch this video to see how a tower crane self-assembles.

Answer #2: Watch this video to see how it’s done in a crowded city with strong people assembling the crane. (Mac pointed out that some of the guys are not wearing helmets or harnesses, and thus this is probably not a very safe way to do this activity. See, I told you our nogs are prattling! This is also a great example of transferring learning: Mac doesn’t know much about construction, but anyone who rides a bike without a helmet gets his firm disapproval. He even thinks helmets are important enough to casually wear around the house, and frankly, he’s right!)