DTA | The Empathetic Classroom
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The Empathetic Classroom

Created by Steven Stack

Why should you take a class on empathy? And why is theatre the perfect vehicle for empathy?

Empathy, the more sought-after and inclusive cousin of sympathy, is the experiencing of someone else’s experience in the world. What it would be like if you were wearing their clothes, their life?

Teaching students to understand the clothes that they’re putting on, the characters and their lives teaches students not how to act but how to be. It allows the students to feel what someone else feels and experiences, which can and should translate to their fellow actors and peers away from the stage. It will lead to a stronger class connection, stronger performances and stronger students who will seek out understanding instead of isolation and fear.

8 Modules
2 hours, 6 minutes
4 Credit Hours

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Introduction 13:29 FREE PREVIEW
An introduction to the course, including the instructor's inspiration for building an empathetic classroom.
Lesson 2A: The First Link 13:55 FREE PREVIEW
This lesson covers the first link of the empathetic classroom - yourself, ourselves, the you.
Lesson 2B: The First Link 19:44
This lesson covers activities that can help in forming the first link - students connecting with themselves.
Lesson 3A: The Second Link 15:58
This lesson focuses on the second link in the empathy chain, a link with others.
Lesson 3B: The Second Link 14:15
This lesson continues to introduce activities focused on building links with others.
Lesson 4: The Third Link 20:20
This lesson focuses on the third link in the empathy chain in which students connect with their characters.
Lesson 5A: The Fifth Link and Troubleshooting 16:36
This lesson discusses the fifth link - between ourselves and the outside world, and how students can make all links stronger.
Lesson 5B: The Fifth Link and Troubleshooting 12:42
This final lesson wraps up the course and completes the discussion on troubleshooting issues you may encounter.

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Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards

Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 7

TH:Pr4.1.7.b - Use various character objectives in a drama/theatre work.

Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 8

TH:Pr4.1.8.b - Use various character objectives and tactics in a drama/theatre work to overcome an obstacle.

Organize and develop artistic ideas and work - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cr2.1.HSII.b - Cooperate as a creative team to make interpretive choices for a drama/theatre work.

California VAPA Standards (2019)

7.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

7.TH:Pr4.b - Use various character objectives in a drama/theatre work.

8.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

8.TH:Pr4.b - Use various character objectives and tactics in a drama/theatre work to overcome an obstacle.

Georgia Performance Standards - Theatre Arts

Tennessee Theatre Curriculum Standards

Tennessee Theatre standards (2018) standards were built using the framework of the NCAS which is built on four key domains: Creating, Performing/Presenting/Producing, Connecting, and Responding. Within each of these domains are foundations and standards to support the development of curriculum, programs, and learning.
(source: Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Academic Standards for Fine Arts, Summer 2018)

Please refer to National Core Arts Standards to determine the standard that best suits your needs.

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Theatre Arts

MS 117.211 LI - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

C.1.A - develop characterization based on sensory and emotional recall.

MS 117.212 LII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

B.1.A - explore characterization using sensory and emotional recall.

MS 117.213 LIII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

B.1.B - explore preparation and warm-up techniques.

HS 117.316 LII - Creative Expression: performance

C.2.B - explore creativity as it relates to self and ensemble.

HS 117.316 LII - Critical evaluation and response

C.5.B - analyze theatre as an art form and evaluate self as a creative being.

HS 117.317 LIII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

C.1.A - apply theatre preparation and warm-up techniques effectively.

HS 117.317 LIII - Critical evaluation and response

C.5.B - recognize theatre as an art form and evaluate self as a creative being.

Alberta, Canada

Theatre Studies Level II - Intermediate (Theatre History)

5 - recognize that “theatre is a mirror of society”.

Ontario, Canada

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