Empathy-building Through Museums: A Teacher’s Guide
April 17, 2015
After years of studying the history of Islamic art and museum studies, the activity at the Exploratorium was the first time Elif felt an exhibit enabled her to face her own behavior and how empathy clearly affected her day-to-day choices.
Ever since, she has been fascinated with what she calls “empathy-building through museums,” or “empathy hacking” – strategically designing museums, exhibitions, and their educational programming to serve as platforms for the exploration of empathy.
In her own words: “My goal is to make museums platforms where empathy can be built, explored, nurtured, and harnessed strategically towards personal and social progress.”
Such spaces could be an exciting destination for class fieldtrips, and a site at which children could build upon the lessons they learn in school. Here are a few fast facts about empathy-building through museums, to get you thinking about how you’d like your favorite exhibits to transform:
By Emlyn Crenshaw