Empathy in the English Classroom: Broadening Perspectives Through Literature

  • Alanna Jamieson
Keywords: empathy, teache research, narrative, English Arts


This paper investigates a novel study of Dickens’ Oliver Twist, used as a platform through which to discuss empathy and to promote deeper understanding with 18 grade eleven students in an English Language Arts classroom. Students’ experiences, perceptions, emotions, and relationships as they read, discuss, and write about the novel were explored through the use of narrative inquiry. The data, gathered through interviews, classroom writing samples, and field notes, provided rich examples of empathetic responses and insightful thinking by students.