Cultivating Empathy Critical for Changemakers

Friday, October 4, 2013

Inside USD -- Chances are good that if you’d opened the door to Salomon Hall on Tuesday afternoon, the initial reaction could have been bewilderment. The visual was a group of students walking around rather aimlessly, a bit zombie-like, with index cards strewn across the floor. When the sound of a gong occurred, individuals dropped to the ground and immediately embodied the word scribbled on the card in front of them — glad, sad, mad, ashamed, surprised, afraid, hurt and loving — in a “huge” fashion, as Glaser instructed. When the gong sounded again, students got up, moved to another card with a different word, and the process was repeated.

While from the outside it seemed a bit unorthodox, Terry Glaser, an adjunct assistant professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at the University of San Diego, used some actor-training techniques to condition students to cultivate the attribute of empathy. (Full Story)

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