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The topic empathy is multifaced.There are several areas to be covered by you as the teacher as outlined in the content.

Course Outline

  1. Definition of empathy
  2. Importance of empathy
  3. Situationsthat call for empathy
  4. Ways of expressing empathy
  5. Factors that enhance empathy
  6. Factors that hinder empathy
  7. Importance of expressing empathy


The following are the objectives to be achieved by teaching this topic. By the end of the lesson the learner should be able to:

  • Explain the meanings of empathy and sympathy
  • Explore situations that call for empathy
  • Discuss ways of showing empathy
  • Explain the importance of expressing empathy
  • Analyse factors that enhance empathy

Definition of empathy

It is the ability and willingness to put oneself into another person’s situation and be able to communicate this feeling in time. It can also be referred to as entering the perceptual world of the person and being sensitive to his/her feelings whether good or bad.

Importance of empathy

  • Those who are empathised with will feel respected
  • It helps in resolving conflicts through understanding of other people’s opinions and situations.
  • It helps in building strong interpersonal relationships
  • It enhances self esteem
  • Promotes self acceptance.

Situations that call for empathy

  • Poor academic performance
  • Gender roles,
  • Cultural diversities
  • Dealing with persons with special needs
  • Trauma survivors,
  • Abusing drugs and substances
  • People living with HIV and AIDS
  • Excelling in academics and co-curricula activities
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Loss of loved ones

Ways of expressing empathy

  • Providing emotional support
  • Providing materials support
  • Active listening
  • Offering guidance
  • Offering spiritual support
  • Referring survivors for further help

Factors that enhance empathy

  • Responsibility
  • Love
  • Humility
  • Simplicity
  • Tolerance
  • Respect

Factors that hinder empathy

  • Inability to listen effectively
  • Hypocrisy
  • Prejudices, biases, stereotyping
  • Discrimination based on social cultural background
  • Subjectivity
  • Mistrust
  • Lack of respect for human dignity

Importance of expressing empathy

  • Instills a sense of belonging and dignity
  • Builds strong interpersonal relationships
  • Enhances non-violent conflict resolution
  • Promotes mutual respect
  • Promotes mutual trust