Constructing a New Educational Model: Empathy Building as a Component of Pluricultural Awareness
Julia Aliverti, Ioannis Karras

Cultural communities are currently influenced by the process of globalization and the advancement of technology. The mono-cultural context encountered in previous eras is turning into a pluri-cultural and intercultural context, inevitably affecting cultural identity. This article aims to explore whether developing students' empathy, while exploring their cultural identities, succeeds in informing the learning experience with a more culturally-sensitive ethos. Our hypothesis is that by applying an educational model that can develop empathy in the classroom through ELT practices, we can simultaneously work towards ICC development, through binding the curriculum to real-world service activities, and form the bedrock of democratic intercultural citizenship. The conducted context-specific participatory action research attempts to elucidate the above hypothesis, using student questionnaires before and after the implementation of the proposed syllabus, and in-depth interviews to better understand their perspectives and feelings. The research outcomes support the validity of the hypothesis, as they indicate that the intervention shows a tendency to enhance empathetic multicultural awareness. The article concludes with certain practical implications and suggested areas for further research.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jflcc.v9n1a1