Empathy, Experience and SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education)

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Abstract

Having commented on the developments in PSE and SMSC [Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education] Ron Best suggests that the motivation for these has been more political than child centred. He is particularly critical of the trend towards specifying learning outcomes as matrices, which he characterizes as the kind of bureaucratization which dehumanizes an essentially human activity. He argues that we need to start with experience and that empathy, though currently undervalued, should be a key dimension of this. The meaning of empathy is then elaborated and in conclusion the case for its central importance presented.

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