An Empathetic Mirroring Instructional Model
Student’s social skills, self-management, and commitment to learning are shaped by their relationship, interactions, and the comfort level they develop with teachers because students mirror teacher’s behaviors through words and actions. These facts must compel us to focus learning on the mastery of knowledge and skills through demonstrable understanding. A process that results in the contextualization of integrative competencies achieved through knowledge and skills. This instructional model imbeds the notion of mirroring, in which students look up to teachers as role models through an engagement process that is empathetic. Empathetic mirroring imposes a high value on the processes of learner observation and engagement in both face-to-face and online environments. These processes involve a synthesis of work tasks performed by those whose functional responsibilities involve imparting knowledge, skills, and understanding to improve connections, reduce distortions, and bias through a communication strategy. Empathetic mirroring activates neural pathways in students. These neural pathways inform mastery of the practical application of knowledge and skills through mirroring of observed actions of a worker, teacher, or caregiver. Empathetic mirroring as an instructional model involves the application of a transformational communication strategy that uses facets of communication (power, control, dominance, fear, and trust) to synthesis human filters inimical to mindfulness and hence empathy by eliminating preconceived notions.
“With empathy, a piece of art becomes a mirror of us.”
The neural pathways model of learning contextualization for developing learning skills by students reveal that students learn by mirroring their teachers first before mastery of the subject matter through the action of mirror-neuron system. A system supporting the observation and simulation of work tasks as the central theme in the mastery of contextualized understanding of knowledge and skills that are judged through performance based on creativity, innovation, and inventions.
In an online instructional setting, it is difficult for teachers to observe their students, absent empathetic mirroring a teacher cannot notice and hence connect to the innate abilities of students which must be valued to trigger connectedness. Students who are noticed by teachers are those who teachers nurture and work with, resulting in highly-valued relationships students carry with them for the rest of their life.
From the village headmaster’s school to schools in cities and wealthy nations valuing individuals is important in the formative years and beyond. When students in the village headmaster’s school visit their teacher’s offices one-on-one the teachers pour praises on the child with the known family history, such as “the child of the lion hunter, who physically brought home meat to the village from the mouth of lions.” The resulting release of dopamine in the student’s brain results in a determination to do better than their acclaimed ancestral heritage.
Using surveys at the beginning of the school year treat students like customers who get the support they paid for and many students in their formative years are too shy to fight for attention publicly. The downside of lack of engagement in such an education environment could result in early depression that reduces competitiveness. Digital transformation technologies offer an array of tools to capture students’ environment variables. Including the personalization of learning support through orchestration of global resources focused on students’ learning. A progress file is a catalog of learning artifacts references and links captured in folders stored in school basements or repositories. While LearningLog™ offers a more nuanced view of students’ activities as a learning reinforcement companion. Especially in interacting with content using concepts of integrative competencies to help intelligent algorithms map and stream data teased from multiple sources to improve knowledge and skills, as well as their contextualization. Establishing processes that adapt education and learning to those similar to the environments in which the acquired competencies will be applied start with a healthy teachers, mentors, industry professionals, and students relationships. The resulting continuous improvement outcome achieved through the Skills4Industry empathetic mirroring model will result in general intelligence by members of the learning communities.
Many of these technologies have been in use for more than 20 years, for example, a component feature of Lotus Notes 5 is SameTime technology released in 1996. Asynchronous and synchronous technology for real-time collaboration and learning management that failed to make its way into classrooms and hence infused into society. At the advent of COVID-19 Zoom would become the go-to technology for continued learning. Teachers would risk their lives to ensure students in faraway locations with low bandwidth got the personalized learning required to meet their exit requirements. While today, as the new school year is upon us teachers are preparing surveys to understand the educational needs and interests of students.
Skills4Industry Digital Transformation in Education program is designed to provide educators the integrative competencies they require to infuse both new technologies and the mental models that improve their application into schools and local communities globally.