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Productive Emotion

FrigginSushi's picture

The Boler Chapters were interesting to think about. The role of emotion in the classroom has always been an interesting subject for me. I’ve always found that the classes that that had more emotional tension, classes I’ve been upset about the discussion or felt like I spoke from the heart very often have been the most rewarding and I was never really sure why that was. In the chapter 7 reading, the idea of empathy and testimonial readings as more than passive, but as an active was to both identify emotions in the classroom and recognizing that “I am not you, and that empathy is possible only by virtue of this distinction”. Boler makes a strong distinction between pity and empathy saying that pity is about your own vulnerabilities, not about the other person, which makes it seem useful that empathy be brought in the classroom for education. Often I feel like when I speak with my feelings in class that the only person who benefits is myself, almost therapeutically, but if students practice empathy then we can grow together in acknowledging emotions. Empathy explores beyond just what emotions are being expressed but also asks why they are being expressed.

If feel like this chapter made an important distinction for me about why empathy and active emotions are vital for a class, not only to understand each other, but also to understand power relationships that cause those emotions and that not all experienced are experienced the same.