The Qualified Empathy and Aesthetic Learning project (2015-2017)

The Qualified Empathy and Aesthetic Learning project is based on a Scandinavian late modern understanding of aesthetic learning processes where arts are considered essential. The aim of this project is to develop what we call ‘qualified empathy’ in students.

Qualified empathy is gained by a combination of the student’s academic work, researching factual knowledge about target groups and selected problems, and the collective aesthetic portrayal of target groups and the problems concerned.

The project respects diversity in definitions of empathy and develops research based practical models of teaching through planned meetings, pilots, workshops and writing which reflect this diversity.

The collaboration is based on expertise and cooperative learning to develop a shared understanding of qualified empathy and to promote student and teacher exchange in Scandinavia.

The larger goal is to form an active international network for future collaboration and produce educational materials for wider use.

The aim of this work is that students develop what we call ‘qualified empathy’ (Austring & Sørensen 2006), a competence of utmost importance in all education and social work.

The overall goals and objectives

  • investigate and gain insight into the complexity of the term ’qualified empathy’ through the exploration of diverse approaches in theory and practice
  • exchange best aesthetic and social pedagogical practices to teach qualified empathy and create modules for cross- professional curricula
  • initiate and sustain student and teacher exchange between partner institutions
  • establish an international qualified empathy network