A Spectrum of Experience: A Community Art Project to Build Empathy Through Identity Sharing in a Suburban High School
Date of Award
MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies
Having empathy for others is an important aspect of living within a healthy community. However, teaching empathy can be difficult. High school is a natural setting for learning and developing many social skills. If adolescents can learn to develop empathy at this age, they can carry it with them into their future communities. Research shows that story-telling and shared experiences have the potential to foster empathy. This paper describes a community-based art project within a suburban high school that was designed to use personal narrative and art-making as a way of developing a sense of empathy in adolescent-aged students. Students were asked to write and display something about themselves in a community area, as well as design and wear a button with a personal symbol on it. Results indicated that students were interested expressing themselves through a community-based art project and that connection with and support from peers is of great importance to people at this age.
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Stansfield, Allison, "A Spectrum of Experience: A Community Art Project to Build Empathy Through Identity Sharing in a Suburban High School" (2018). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 8.
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