Looking for Empathy in Visual Encounters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Empathy is fundamental in our abilities to achieve healthy, happy, socially successful
lives. The importance of its inclusion in educational pedagogical practices and
classroom instruction is highly emphasized, yet very little research has been
conducted to examine artistic exercises as effective ways for promoting empathy
through pedagogy. VTS is a dialogical form of aesthetic interview that encourages
groups of students to engage critical thinking skills. This article addresses a
dissertation study in which VTS was implemented as an arts-based educational
research (ABER) methodology to elicit discourse. The data, comprised of an audio
recorded VTS exercise, was collected during a workshop at a conference in Vienna,
Austria. Participants discussed an illustration taken from Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, a
graphic novel telling the story of an Immigrant’s journey. Findings illuminate how
VTS exercises elicited empathic discourse and a discussion explores VTS as a
pedagogy for eliciting empathy within a theoretical context.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Education and the Arts
Issue number21
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 6132 Visual arts and design
  • Arts-based research
  • empathy
  • visual thinking strategies
  • critical thinking
  • 516 Educational sciences

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