A Neverending Curriculum

Submitted By:
Michael Coppola, The Chestnut Hill School, Chestnut Hill, MA

Intellectual Empathy: Critical Thinking for Social Justice
by Maureen Linker
University of Michigan Press, December 2014

How does one overcome implicit bias and stereotyping when engaging in conversations with others? As educators, how do we help our students examine their own stereotypes, beliefs and assumptions and help them develop their capacity for empathy? For many students, and adults alike, engaging with issues of race, class and privilege can be emotional, difficult and transformational. In her book, Intellectual Empathy: Critical Thinking for Social Justice, Maureen Linker seeks to educate readers about exploring their own social identities and beliefs in ways that build empathy for the social identities and beliefs of others. The author concentrates on five key skills for building intellectual empathy and uses real-world examples to illustrate effective application of those skills. Each chapter contains review questions that provide the reader with engaging opportunities to self-reflect and practice the five key skills. It is a compelling read and would be of interest to educators interested in exploring their own social identities and assumptions and those who wish to help their students do the same.

Teaching Practice
Leadership Practice