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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Creative Play for Teaching Empathy to Young Children: an Inner Exploration of an Instructor's Process, a Visual and Narrative Journey
by Muhlhauser, Wendy Jean, Ed.D., Fielding Graduate University, 2021, 51; 28317977
Abstract (Summary)

Operating from the hypothesis that much of our prejudice and inequality results from a lack of empathy, my dissertation answers the research question: What reflective insights emerge from an autoethnographic study of creative story-telling and play, in online teaching of elementary grade children? This autoethnographic study, with video component, examines my online teaching and experiences that emphasize playfulness, empathy, diversity and inclusion, in the context of education and for general youth development. Through the use of documentary-style presentation, I offer excerpts of me teaching, an online version of storytelling and play, as learning tools to facilitate the understanding of empathy and shared humanity. I provide a recorded narrative of my reflections that I film, in addition to a prose introduction. The dissertation has three main dimensions: a) Excerpts of recorded online teaching of just me (no children are seen) and portions of already existing footage of interviews, b) Narrative of reflections for class planning, personal and academic discoveries, teaching, and other data comprised of journal entries, personal reflections, poetry, c) Intro, citations of research, literature review, and conclusions. I believe my illustrations will make for unique connections between playfulness and the development of empathy.

Keywords: Play, creative play, empathy, education, K-6 education, online teaching, puppets, story, storytelling, hierarchy, discrimination, prejudice, inequality.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Edwards, Jennifer L., Jacobs, Four Arrows - Don T.
Commitee: Steier, Frederick, Henderson, Lenneal J., Eddington, Susan J., Loxton, Sandi
School: Fielding Graduate University
Department: School for Leadership Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education, Early childhood education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Creative Play, Education, Empathy, Hierarchy, Inequality, Play
Publication Number: 28317977
ISBN: 9798597097190
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